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-V    , 













"  I  will  go  in  the  strength  of  the  Lord  God  :  I  will  make  mention 

of  thy  righteousness,  even  of  thine  only.    O  God,  thou  hast  taught 

me  from  my  youth:  and  hitherto  have  I  declared  thy  wondrous 

works.     Now  also  when  I  am  old  and  grey-headed,  O  God,  forsake 

me  not ;  until  I  have  shewed  thy  strength  unto-this  generation,  and 

thy  power  to  every  one  that  is  to  come." 

Ps.  lxxi.  16-18. 

"  Commit  thy  way  unto  the  Lord ;  trust  also  in  him  ;  and  he 

shall  bring  it  to  pass." 

Ps.  xxxvii.  5. 

"  And  let  us  not  be  weary  in  well-doing:  for  in  due  season  we 

shall  reap,  if  we  faint  not." 

Gal.  vi.  9. 

"  Lord,  not  my  will  but  thine  be  done !  " 


'  Malheureux  celui  qui  est  en  avant  de  son  siede." 

"  Oft  as  ye  sink  :  Rise." 

"  The  world  may  say  I've  fail'd  :  I  have  not  fail'd 
If  I  set  truth  'fore  men  they  will  not  see  ; 
Tia  they  who  fail,  not  I.     My  faith  holds  firm, 
And  time  will  prove  me  right." 

"  Che  saTa  sara." 

The  present  work  contains  the  narrative  of  an 
expedition  to  North- Western  Arabia,  undertaken 
at  the  commencement  of  1874,  by  my  lamented 
husband,  Dr.  Charles  Beke,  Ph.D.,  F.S.A.,  F.R.G.S. 
(at  the  advanced  age  of  seventy-three,  and  on 
recovering  from  a  serious  illness),  in  order  to  esta- 
blish, by  personal  observation,  the  correctness  of 
the  views  expressed  by  him  in  his  Origines  Biblicce 
forty-four  years  ago,  respecting  the  true  position 
and  physical  character  of  the  Mount  of  God  on 
which  the  Law  was  delivered  to  Moses,  the  inspired 
leader  of  the  Israelites. 


The  first  three  chapters,  which  were  written  by 
Dr.  Beke,  show  the  results  of  this  expedition,  and 
may  claim  to  be  considered  the  outcome  of  the 
efforts  of  the  greater  part  of  a  lifetime  to  elucidate 
and  substantiate  the  truth  of  the  Bible  History 
from  the  Holy  Scriptures  themselves. 

By  disputing  only  the  "  traditional  explanations 
of  the  Geography  of  the  Scriptures  " — the  errors 
of  which  have  unhappily  caused  the  authority  of 
the  Scriptures  themselves  to  be  called  in  question — 
and  by  endeavouring  to  discover  the  correct  posi- 
tion of  the  Mount  of  God  in  Horeb,  where  was 
delivered  that  Divine  Law  which  to  this  day  forms 
the  basis  of  the  legislation  of  all  civilised  nations 
and  the  rule  of  their  religious  and  social  conduct, 
and  upon  the  settlement  of  which  question  depends 
the  right  understanding  of  the  whole  history 
of  the  Exodus,  Dr.  Beke  has,  I  venture  to  think 
my  readers  will  admit,  incontrovertibly  cleared 
away  many  of  the  difficulties  and  doubts  which 
have  hitherto  disturbed  earnest  and  anxious 

He  has  done  a  good  work  in  having  thus  paved 
the  way  for  others  to  arrive  at  a  final  settlement  of 
the  whole  of  the  important  questions  connected  with 
the  Exodus  of  the  Israelites,  whereby  many  wan- 


derers  may  (with  God's  help)  be  brought  back  to 
the  fold. 

My  husband  left  England  on  his  memorable 
journey  in  search  of  the  true  Mount  Sinai  on 
December  8,  1873 ;  and,  after  an  absence  of  three 
months  and  eleven  days,  he  returned  home  on 
March  19,  1874,  having  in  the  intervening  period 
accomplished  his  task,  and  discovered  "  Mount 
Sinai  in  Arabia"  (Jebel-e'-Nur,  the  Mountain  of 
Light),  precisely  in  the  position  where  he  con- 
tended it  should  be  looked  for.  He  was  also  so 
fortunate  as  to  discover  Moses1  "  Place  of  Prayer  " 
at  Madian,  the  capital  of  Midian,  where  Captain 
Burton1  has  now  gone  to  make  further  explora- 
tions, and  to  develop  the  gold  mines  of  this 
ancient  Land  of  Midian. 

But  although  Dr.  Beke  found  his  Mount  Sinai,  it 
turned  out  not  to  be  a  "  volcano,'*  as  he  had  pre- 
viously contended  that  it  might  be  ;  or  at  least,  Dr. 
Beke  says,  "  it  cannot  be  proved  to  have  been  one, 
but  at  the  same  time  cannot  be  proved  not  to  have 
been  one.  If  this  is  really  the  true  Mount  Sinai, 
it  is  as  little  a  *  volcano '  as  the  traditional  one  is, 

1  Just  after  I  had  Rent  these  pages  to  press,  I  saw  the  gratifying 
announcement  in  the  "Times"  of  Captain  Burton's  safe  return, 
bringing  with  him  twenty-five  tons  of  ore. 


or  else  geology  is  all  at  fault.  The  same  arguments 
that  Sir  George  Airy  uses  to  prove  that  the  tradi- 
tional mountain  was  volcanic,  will,  however,  apply 
to  this  mountain  also,  for  the  geological  formation 
of  both  seems  the  same." 

The  truthful,  manly,  and  straightforward  way  in 
which,  it  will  be  remembered,  Dr.  Beke's  recanta- 
tion was  at  once  announced,  the  public  will  hardly 
have  failed  to  appreciate.  The  courage  which  such 
an  act  required  could  but  have  sprung  from  the 
highest  and  most  unselfish  motives,1  and  must  have 
proved  to  demonstration  that  the  first  and  sole 
object  of  Dr.  Beke's  expedition  was  simply  the 
elucidation  of  the  truth.  Such  an  admission  of  the 
fact  of  his  not  finding  his  Mount  Sinai  to  be  a 
volcano,  as  he  had  expected,  can  surely  not  be 
deemed  to  invalidate,  but,  on  the  contrary,  to 
enhance,  the  value  of  Dr.  Beke's  discovery.  Of 
the  action  of  one  who  will  admit  with  frank  and 
ready  courtesy  that  he  has  been  mistaken,  it  may 
be  said  that  it  "  blesseth  him  that  gives  and  him 
that  takes  " — it  covers  his  own  retreat  with  grace- 
fulness, and  gives  his  adversaries  a  pleasant 
memory  of  an  encounter  with  a  generous  foe. 

The  controversy  which  ensued  in  the  columns  of 

1  See  p.  436. 


the  "Times"  and  other  journals1  upon  the  ques- 
tion, is  doubtless  fresh  in  the  minds  of  those  who 
are  interested  in  this  important  subject,  as  also 
the  sad  fact  that  my  lamented  husband's  sudden 
death  unhappily  cut  all  further  controversy  and 
his  labours  short.  His  pen  dropped  from  his  hand 
ere  he  could  complete  the  rSsumS,  upon  which  he 
was  engaged,  of  the  facts  collected  on  his  journey 
and  from  his  long  and  deep  researches.  The  loss  is 
irremediable,  and  for  me  too  recent  and  painful  to 
dwell  on  here. 

Thus,  the  trying  responsibility  unfortunately  de- 
volved upon  me  of  editing  this  work.  The  first 
three  chapters,  although  to  a  certain  extent  com- 
pleted, required  some  revision,  and  the  many  re- 
ferences to  the  authorities  from  whom  Dr.  Beke 
drew  his  information,  and  to  which  he  alludes  with 
brevity — although  not  too  concise  for  his  own 
well-stored  mind — left  his  editor  many  difficulties 
to  overcome. 

In  this  emergency,  the  Rev.  Albert  Lowy,  the 
learned  editor  of  the  works  published  by  the 
Society  of  Hebrew  Literature,  kindly  came  to  my 
aid,  and  not  only  volunteered  me  the  benefit  of  his 
able  revision  of  most  of  the  Hebrew  texts  which 

1  See  Appendix  B. 


occur ;  but  through  his  friendly  instrumentality  I 
am  also  indebted  to  Mr.  Richard  Garnett,  of  the 
British  Museum,  for  much  valuable  assistance ;  and 
to  both  these  gentlemen  I  have  the  greatest  plea- 
sure in  here  recording  my  sincere  thanks.  To 
Mr.  W.  W.  Waddington,  whose  services  in  verify- 
ing references  I  have  availed  myself  of,  my  thanks 
are  also  due. 

I  fear  that  the  publication  of  this  book  has 
been  looked  for  long  ere  this,  but  continued  ill- 
health  and  lack  of  meafis  rendered  the  execution  of 
this  labour  of  love  utterly  impossible  on  my  part. 
My  health,  however,  by  God's  blessing,  becoming 
somewhat  re-established  last  summer,  I  felt  it  to 
be  one  of  my  first  duties  to  endeavour  to  publish 
this  work,  and  that  I  owed  it  no  less  in  justice  to 
my  husband's  memory  than  to  the  subscribers  to 
his  expedition. 

My  best  and  most  earnest  thanks  must,  therefore, 
here  be  tendered  to  the  liberal-minded  noblemen 
and  friends  who  so  kindly  assisted  wk  privately 
in  my  efforts  to  publish  this  book.  Also  to  my 
adopted  daughter,  Mrs.  J.  Laurence-Levi,  without 
whose  self-sacrifice,  indefatigable  solicitude,  and 
invaluable  co-operation  I  could  not  have  accom- 
plished my  task. 


I  could  have  wished  that  the  editing  of  so  im- 
portant a  work  had  fallen  to  some  far  more  com- 
petent person,  and  one  better  able  than  I  am  to 
render  justice  to  my  husband's  labours,  and  to  the 
subject  generally.  I  would  venture,  however,  to 
ask  my  readers,  before  perusing  the  following 
pages,  to  be  so  good  as  to  bear  in  mind  that  I  do 
not  lay  claim  to  any  literary  merit  in  the  pro- 
duction of  this  work ;  but  simply  to  have  given 
to  the  public  a  truthful  and  unvarnished  state- 
ment of  what  my  lamented  husband  did  and 
saw  on  his  expedition  in  search  of  the  true  Mount 

I  have  felt  that  I  could  not  do  this  better,  or 
more  satisfactorily  to  others,  than  by  letting  Dr. 
Beke's  very  characteristic  letters  to  me  (as  the 
late  Mr.  William  Longman  suggested),  on  this,  his 
last  journey,  tell  their  own  tale — as  I  believe  they, 
and  his  "Notes  on  Egypt,"  will  be  found  most 
interesting,  especially  at  the  present  time. 

If  in  giving  them,  as  I  have  done,  almost  ver- 
batim, I  should  have  given  my  readers  cause  to 
complain  of  a  certain  amount  of  repetition,  I  must 
remind  them  that  they  were  written  more  as  a 
journal  of  daily  events  than  as  ordinary  letters ; 
and  that  from  the  sad  fact  of  this  journey  having 


been  Dr.  Beke's  last,  I  have  not  liked  to  omit  more 
than  was  absolutely  necessary. 

Though  Dr.  Beke  harJly  expected  latterly  to 
have  been  permitted  to  accomplish  it  himself,  this 
journey  was  one  of  his  most  cherished  wishes, 
and  was  one  of  the  last  tasks  he  had  set  himself 
to  perform  in  early  life,  it  being  one  of  those 
"  dreams  "  so  feelingly  referred  to  in  his  Preface 
to  his  "  British  Captives  in  Abyssinia." 

It  may  well  be  conceived,  therefore,  that  his 
gratitude  to  those  few  scientific  and  other  friends 
who  generously  supported  his  expedition  was  com- 
mensurate with  the  importance  of  the  subject  he 
had  so  much  at  heart.1 

I  am  glad  to  avail  myself  of  this  opportunity  of 
respectfully  expressing  my  deep  reconnaisance  to 
the  enlightened  and  generous  patron  of  scientific 
exploration,  His  Highness  the  Khedive  of  Egypt, 
who,  by  having  kindly  granted  Dr.  Beke  the  use 
of  a  steamer,  so  materially  conduced  to  alleviate 
the  fatigues  of  my  husband's  journey,  and  to  its 
successful  accomplishment. 

1  With  profound  regret  I  see  in  the  "  Times "  of  the  4th  May 
the  announcement  of  the  sad  and  fatal  termination  of  the  accident 
to  Sir  Francis  H.  Goldsmid,  Bart,  M.P.,  one  of  the  most  generous 
and  kind-hearted  patrons  of  my  late  husband.  The  loss  of  so  good 
and  noble  a  man  will  be  universally  felt. 


Further,  I  beg  to  tender  my  thanks  to  his 
Excellency  Nubar  Pasha,  and  to  Messrs.  Oppen- 
heim  &  Co.  (especially  Mr.  Henry  Oppenheim), 
through  whose  courtesy  and  aid  Dr.  Beke's  "  wish" 
was  brought  to  the  knowledge  of  the  Khedive. 
The  ready  help  afforded  Dr.  Beke  by  the  several 
naval  officials,  and  our  many  other  good  friends  in 
Egypt,  was  fully  appreciated. 

I  must  also  state  how  great  a  relief  it  was  to 
Dr.  Beke  to  have  been  accompanied  by  so  able  a 
geologist1  and  assistant  generally  as  Mr.  John 
Milne,  as  my  husband  frequently  testifies.  The 
illustrations  are  nearly  all  from  sketches  by  Mr. 
Milne,  whose  valuable  services  as  artist,  geologist, 
botanist,  and  conchologist  to  the  expedition,  I  have 
much  pleasure  in  recording,  though  I  regret  that, 
owing  to  his  absence  in  Japan,  these  reports  have 
not  had  the  benefit  of  his  revision;  but  Messrs. 
William  Carruthers,  F.R.S.,  and  Edgar  Smith,  of 
the  British  Museum,  have  done  me  the  favour  to 
revise  the  botanical  and  conchological  lists. 

The    observations    made    by  Dr.  Beke  on  the 
journey2  were  computed  by  Mr.   R  Strachan,  at 

1  The  geological  specimens,  &c,  collected  at  Midian  and  Akaba 
were,  by  Dr.  Beke's  desire,  presented  to  the  British  Museum. 
*  See  Appendix  C. 

been  Dr.  Bel 
than  was  al» 

Though  ] 
have  been  i> 
journey  w;i 
and  was  oil 
to  perfoi'n 
"  dreams  " 
to  his  "  I! 

It  mn ^ 
who  gen 
had  so  r 

the  en 
who,  1" 
of  a  «i 
the  &[!, 

1  Wiih  ].,■ 

and  kind-bet* 

and  noble  a  i 


a  labour  of  love)  I  have  imposed  on  myself,  is 
that  of  giving  to  the  world  the  last  fruits  of 
my  husband's  labours — which  he  himself  was  not 
permitted  to  see  ripen,  but  which,  had  he  been 
spared  to  bring  to  maturity,  would  have  afforded  a 
much  richer  store — and  because  I  could  not  hope 
to  do  justice  to  his  thoughts  and  intentions.  But 
in  spite  of  this  and  of  the  numerous  drawbacks 
I  have  had  to  contend  against,  I  have  nevertheless 
been  unwilling  to  withhold  altogether  from  the 
public  the  information  my  dear  husband  has  left. 

I  am  indebted  to  Messrs.  Trtibner  &  Co.,  my 
publishers,  for  considerable  assistance  and  kind- 
ness ;  and  also  to  my  printers,  Messrs.  Ballantyne, 
Hanson  &  Co.,  for  the  trouble  they  have  taken 
with  the  manuscript  of  an  invalid. 

In  conclusion,  I  have  only  to  mention  that  I 
have  recently  heard  that  Mr.  Holland  has  again 
started  for  Mount  Sinai.  It  is,  therefore,  earnestly 
to  be  hoped,  that  he  will  not  fail  to  give  to  Dr. 
Beke's  '  Mount  Sinai '  that  attention  and  impartial 
consideration  and  further  investigation  which  it  so 
richly  deserves,  and  which  all  who  desire  to  arrive 
at  the  truth  must  wish  to  see  bestowed  upon  it* 
Should  Mr.  Holland  do  this,  it  cannot  be  doubted 


that  he  will  bring  back  information  of  the  highest 
value,  for  which  he  will  merit  the  grateful  thanks 
of  myself  and  all  believers  in  the  truth  of  the  Bible 
narrative.     May  God  speed  him  ! 


nee  Alston. 

Ferndale  View,  Tunbridge- Wells, 

2$th  April  1878, 

The  Anniversary  of  my  Wedding-Day, 


/NTT     •     1MUI  »»"k         V 


Page  69,  line  14,  for  "  Aiuunah,"  read  "  Ainunah." 
„  153,  lines  1  and  5,  for  "  Wallin,"  read  "  Waller." 
„  157,  line  11,  for  "Mr.  Kay,"  read  "Mrs.  Kay." 
,,284,    „      4,  „   "East," read  "West." 
„    „      „     7,   „   "West,"  read  "East." 

,,392,    „    17,  „    "  Kellaat-el-Nakhl," read' 'Kala'at-el-Nakhl." 
,,459,   ,,     6,   „   "running," read  "remaining." 


8EA  OF  EDOM,  .  .  .  .  .        285 

xviii  CONTENTS. 



MITZRAIM,  .......        387 



HOMEWARD  BOUND,  .....        489 


BY  MR.  JOHN  MILNE,  F.G.8.,  .  .  .  525 





PH.D.,  F.S.A.,  F.R.G.S.,  ETC.,  ....         591 


AND   FEBRUARY    1 874,  .  .  .  •         593 



SINAI   IN  ARABIA  BY  tfR.  JOHN  MILNE,  F.G.S.,      .  .        595 




>  Frontispiece 


8HERM  EL  MOVJEH         .  . 319 

AINtiNAH 327 

MIDI  A » 340 


PLAN  OF  DO. 349 


HEAD  OF  THE  GULF  OF  AKABA     .          .                                         .  372 





PI-HA-HIROTH  (AT  WADY  EL  MAHA8ERAT)     ....  460 




At  end  of  Book 



The  Woodcut*  are  by  Mr.  W.  /.  Welch.. 






When  we  take  into  consideration  the  momentous 
character  of  the  subject,  it  would  seem  natural  to 
conclude  that  the  position  of  the  Holy  Mountain 
on  which  the  Law  was  revealed  to  the  inspired 
leader  of  the  Israelites,  would  not,  and  indeed  could 
not,  be  a  matter  of  question.  We  might  reasonably 
conjecture  that  the  Mount  of  God  would  be  to  them 
too  sacred  a  spot  ever  to  have  been  lost  sight  of ; 
that  the  knowledge  of  its  locality  could  not  have 
failed  to  be  retained  by  the  whole  people  from 
generation  to  generation,  and  handed  down  by 
them  to  their  descendants  the  Jews;  that  from 
these,  in  due  course  of  time,  it  would  have  been 
transmitted  to  the  Christians,  and  religiously  pre- 
served  by  the  latter  down  to  the  present  day.  But 
it  is  not  so. 

•  Written  by  the  late  Dr.  Beke,  28th  May  1874. 



As  far  as  the  written  records  of  the  Israelites 
are  concerned,  the  mention  of  Sinai,  or  Horeb,1  as 
it  is  otherwise  called,  is  confined  to  the  history  of 
Moses  and  of  the  Exodus  narrated  in  the  Penta- 
teuch, with  the  single  exception  of  the  incident 
in  the  life  of  the  prophet  Elijah,  who  is  recorded  * 
to  have  gone  from  Beersheba  unto  "Horeb  the 
Mount  of  God,"  and  to  have  there  lodged  in  a 
cave,  which  is  conjectured,  not  unreasonably  per- 
haps, though  without  a  tittle  of  evidence  in 
support  of  the  conjecture,  to  have  been  the 
identical  "  cleft  of  the  rock "  wherein  Moses  had 
been  hidden  *  when  the  glory  of  the  Lord  passed 
by  him. 

If,  therefore,  any  tradition  on  the  subject  existed 
among  the  Jews,  it  must  have  been  simply  oral, 
liable  to  be  forgotten  in  the  lapse  of  ages,  and 
especially  during  the  time  of  national  peril.  Their 
descendants  at  the  present  day  avow  that  they 
have  no  traditional  knowledge  on  the  subject. 
Nevertheless  it  is  a  remarkable  fact  that  the 
Jewish  historian  Josephus  gives  a  description  of 
Mount  Sinai,  from  which  it  would  almost  appear 
that  some  traditional  knowledge  on  the  subject 

1  Exod.  iii.  i  ;  Deut.  i.  6.  2  i  Kings  xix.  8,  9. 

3  Exod.  xxxiii  22. 


had  been  handed  down  to  his  time.  When  relating 
how  Moses  fled  from  Pharaoh,  king  of  Egypt,  he 
says  that  "  he  came  to  the  city  Midian,  which  lay 
upon  the  Red  Sea,  and  was  so  denominated  from 
one  of  Abraham's  sons  by  Keturah."1  Now  we 
are  told  in  Scripture,  that  those  descendants  of  the 
Patriarch  were  sent  into  the  "  east  country," 2  that 
is  to  say,  into  the  regions  lying  to  the  east  of  the 
valley  of  the  Jordan  and  its  continuance  south- 
ward to  the  Gulf  of  Akaba,  and  not  anywhere 
within  the  peninsula  west  of  that  gulf,  where 
Moses's  place  of  refuge  has  been  so  erroneously 
imagined  to  have  been  situated. 

The  Jewish  historian  then  goes  on  to  describe 
the  Mountain  of  God  in  these  specific  terms: — 
"Now  this  is  the  highest  of  all  the  mountains 
thereabout,  and  the  best  for  pasturage,  the  herbage 
being  there  good ;  and  it  had  not  been  before  fed 
upon,  because  of  the  opinion  men  had  that  God 
dwelt  there,  the  shepherds  not  daring  to  ascend 
up  to  it." 3 

And  in  a  subsequent  passage,  when  describing 
how  Moses  ascended  Mount  Sinai,  he  says,  this 
mountain  was  "  the  highest  of  all  the  mountains 

1  Josephus,  lib.  ii.  cap.  xi.  sect.  1,  Whiston's  trans. 

1  Gen.  xxv.  6.  8  Op.  cit,  lib.  ii.  cap.  xii.  sect  1. 

V  1 


that  are  in  that  country,  and  is  not  only  very 
difficult  to  be  ascended  by  men,  on  account  of  its 
vast  altitude,  but  because  of  the  sharpness  of  its 
precipices  also ;  nay,  indeed,  it  cannot  be  looked 
at  without  pain  of  the  eyes ;  and  besides  this,  it 
was  terrible  and  inaccessible,  on  account  of  the 
rumour  that  passed  about,  that  God  dwelt  there. 

In  the  Christian  Scriptures  the  only  mention 
made  of  the  Mountain  of  the  Law  is  by  the 
Apostle  Paul,  who,  in  his  Epistle  to  the  Galatians/ 
Bpeaks  of  "  Mount  Sinai  in  Arabia ; "  which  ex- 
pression, however,  is  too  indefinite  to  allow  any 
conclusion  to  be  drawn  from  it,  except  perhaps 
that,  as  in  the  Apostle's  time,  the  name  of  Arabia 
was  limited  to  the  country  east  of  the  Jordan, 
Mount  Sinai  itself  must  likewise  have  been 
deemed  to  have  been  situated  there.  And  as 
Aretas,  king  of  Arabia,  that  is  to  say,  Arabia 
Petraea,  of  which  Petra  was  the  capital,8  was  at 
the  same  time  king  of  Damascus ; 4  and  as  in  the 
same  Epistle  the  Apostle  expressly  relates,  how, 
after  his  conversion,  "immediately  he  conferred 
not    with    flesh    and    blood,"    but    "went    into 

1  Op.  cit,  lib.  iii  cap.  v.  sect  i. 

•  Gal.  iv.  25. 

3  See  Josephus,  Antiq.  xiv.  1,4;  Wars  of  the  Jews,  i.  6,  2. 

*  See  2  Cor.  xi.  32  ;  Originee  Biblicae,  p.  254  (note) ;  Gal.  i.  16, 17. 


Arabia"  whence  he  "returned  again  to  Damas- 
cus;" it  may  even  be  conjectured  that  the 
Apostle  had  "Mount  Sinai  in  Arabia"  in  his 
mind,  in  consequence  of  his  personal  acquaintance 

with  the  locality. 

Still  this  would  be  ascribing  to  the  Apostle 
more  accurate  geographical  knowledge  than  pro- 
bably we  have  a  right  to  attribute  to  him.  It  is 
nevertheless  possible  that  this  statement  of  St. 
Paul,  like  that  of  his  contemporary  and  co- 
religionist Josephus,  may  have  been  derived  from 
the  last  lingering  spark  of  Jewish  oral  tradition, 
which  did  not  become  quite  extinguished  till  after 
the  cessation  of  the  national  existence  of  the  people. 

It  may  not  be  without  bearing  on  this  subject 
to  add,  that  Justin  Martyr,  who  flourished  about 
the  middle  of  the  second  century,  when  speak- 
ing of  the  Magi,  or  wise  men,  who,  in  the  first 
Gospel,1  are  said  to  come  "  from  the  east,"  always 
describes  them  as  "  Magi  from  Arabia  "  (fiayoi  diro 

Meanwhile,  however,  the  school  of  Alexandria 
had  come  into  existence,  to  which  so  many  learned 
Jews  belonged,  and  which  exercised  so  vast  an 
influence  upon  early  Christianity.    Naturalised  in 

1  Matt  ii.  1.  *  Dial.  Try  ph.,  lxxviii.  cvi. 


Egypt,  the  Jews  were  proud  to » trace  a  connection 
which,  in  reality,  had  never  existed  between  the 
history  of  their  adopted  country  and  that  of  their 
Hebrew  ancestors,  and  hence  they  came  to  re- 
model the  geography  of  the  Pentateuch  from  an 
Egyptian  point  of  view. 

On  this  important  subject  I  have  already  stated 
my  opinion  in  my  first  work,  "  Origines  Biblicae,"  * 
published  in  the  year  1834,  and  in  many  subse- 
quent publications,  and  I  shall  also  have  occasion 
to  discuss  it  in  a  subsequent  portion  of  the  present 
work ;  I  therefore  need  not  dwell  on  it  now.*  All 
that  I  have  occasion  to  say  here  is,  that  the 
passage  of  the  Israelites  through  the  Red  Sea, 
being  assumed  to  have  taken  place  somewhere  at 
the  head  of  the  Gulf  of  Suez,  it  necessarily  follows 
that  the  scene  of  their  wanderings  must  have  been 
shifted  into  the  regions  lying  immediately  to  the 
east  of  the  gulf;  hence  Mount  Sinai  would  na- 
turally have  come  to  be  placed  somewhere  within 
the  mountainous  country  between  that  gulf  and  the 
Gulf  of  Akaba. 

It  is,  however,  a  most  significant  fact  that  not 
a  single  place  recorded  in  the  Old  Testament  in 

1  See  Orig.  Bibl.,  pp.  8,  13. 

2  Unhappily  Dr.  Beke's  lamented  death  happened  before  he  could 
complete  his  task. — Ed. 


connection  with  the  Exodus  of  the  Israelites  can 
conclusively,  or  even  satisfactorily,  be  pointed  out 
as  represented  at  the  present  day  by  a  similar 
name  within  that  peninsula,  or  as  having  been 
known  to  the  Greeks  or  Romans  under  its  ancient 
Biblical  designation. 

The  Pharan  of  Ptolemy1  and  of  the  early 
Christian  writers,2  the  country  of  the  Lapis  Phara- 
nites  of  Pliny,8  which  is  identified  with  the  modern 
Feiran,  in  the  vicinity  of  the  copper  and  turquoise 
mines,  is  indeed  deemed  by  Professor  Lepsius,4 
and  also  by  Professor  Palmer,5  to  be  an  evident 
reminiscence  of  the  ancient  Biblical  name  Paran. 
Yet  the  latter  traveller  does  not  attempt  actually 
to  identify  Feiran  with  the  Paran  of  the  Bible,6 
which  he  places  in  a  totally  different  position ; 
for  he  says,  "  I  concur  with  Wilton  (the  Negeb, 
p.  124)  in  believing  that  the  Wilderness  of 
Paran  comprised  the  whole  Desert  of  Et  Tfh,  and 
that  Mount  Paran  was  the  southernmost  portion 
of  the  mountain  plateau  in  the  north-east,  at 
present  inhabited  by  the  'Azdzimeh  Arabs,  and 
known  as  Jebel  Magr&h." 7 

Geogr.,  lib.  v.  cap.  17,  sect  3. 

St  Jerome,  Comment  in  Abucuc,  lib.  ii.  c.  3,  v.  3. 

Plin.  Hist  Nat,  lib.  xxxvii.  40. 

Lepsius's  Letters,  xxxiii.  n.  6  Desert  of  the  Exodus,  p.  20. 

See  Ebers's  Durch  Gosen  zum  Sinai,  pp.  189-208. 

Palmer's  Desert  of  the  Exodus,  p.  509. 


What  "  reminiscence,"  then,  Pharan  or  Feiran, 
near  Mount  Serbal,  can  possibly  give  of  Mount 
Magr&h,  some  hundred  miles  distant  from  it,  must 
surely  be  "evident"  to  the  mind  of  Professor 
Palmer  alone.  As  for  the  German  Professor, 
though  he  asserts  that  "the  name  of  Firan,  for- 
merly Pharan,  is  indeed  evidently  the  same  as 
Peiran,"  he  makes  the  strange  avowal  that  *  "  it  is 
equally  certain  that  this  name  has  altered  its  mean- 
ing with  reference  to  the  locality ; "  which  asser- 
tion, as  far  as  I  can  understand  it,  seems  to  signify 
that  the  classical  and  modern  name  does  not  corre- 
spond to  the  Biblical,  which  is  a  virtual  denial  of 
their  identity,2  represented  by  the  two  names. 

And  Josephus,8  as  quoted  by  Lepsius,  when  speak- 
ing of  Simon  of  Gerasa,  says  that  he  c  overran  the 
Accrabatene  toparchy,  and  the  places  that  reached 
as  far  as  the  Great  Idumsea  ;  for  he  built  a  wall  at 
a  certain  village  called  Nain,  and  made  use  of  that 
as  a  fortress  for  his  own  party's  security ;  and  at 
the  valley  called  Paran  he  enlarged  many  of  the 
caves,  and  many  others  he  found  ready  for  his 
purpose ; '  and  Robinson,  speaking  of  the  Paran 
of  Ptolemy,  and  that   of  Eusebius   and  Jerome, 

1  Lepsius's  Letters,  xxxiii.  note. 

2  See  Ebers's  Durch  Gosen  zum  Sinai,  ut  swp. 
8  Wars  of  the  Jews,  iv.  9,  4. 

UM  SHA  UMER.  9 

remarks,  "The  valley  of  Pharan  mentioned  by 
Josephus  is  obviously  a  different  place,  somewhere  in 
the  vicinity  of  the  Dead  Sea;  perhaps  connected  with 
the  mountain  and  Desert  of  Paran  so  often  spoken 
of  in  the  Old  Testament,  adjacent  to  Kadish." l 

As  regards  the  most  important  spot  in  the  history 
of  the  Exodus,  Mount  Sinai  itself,  it  has  to  be 
remarked,  that  when  the  Jews,  and  after  them 
the  Christians  of  Egypt,  began  to  consider  and  to 
investigate  the  topography  of  the  regions  which 
they  connected  with  that  great  national  event, 
namely,  those  contiguous  to  Egypt,  they  probably, 
in  the  first  instance,  indiscriminately  applied  the 
designation  of  Sinai  or  Horeb  to  the  whole  of  the 
lofty  range  of  the  Black  Mountains  (Mekava  "Opn)  of 
the  Greco-Pelusian  geographer,  Claudius  Ptolemy  ;2 
which  range  might  reasonably  be  regarded  from 
a  distance  as  a  single  mountain-mass,  culminating 
in  the  peak  of  the  Um  Shaumer,  with  an  elevation 
of  8449  feet  above  the  sea.8 

1  See  Numb.  liii.  26.    Biblical  Researches,  i.  593. 

1  Qeogr.,  lib.  v.  cap.  17,  sect  3. 

3  According  to  the  Ordnance  Survey  of  the  peninsula,  Jebel 
Katarina  has  an  elevation  of  8536  feet,  or  87  feet  more  than  Um 
Shaumer  ;  but  as  it  stands  somewhat  farther  towards  the  east,  and 
thus  out  of  the  direct  line  of  the  chain,  it  loses  in  appearance  some 
of  its  height.  But  both  are  surpassed  by  Jebel  Zebir,  which  is  the 
highest  peak  in  the  peninsula,  reaching  a  height  of  8551  feet  See 
Account  of  the  Survey,  Pt.  1,  App.  1 1,  Tables  I.,  II. 


But  it  would  not  have  been  long,  especially 
after  the  persecution  of  the  professors  of  the  new 
faith  had  caused  them  to  flee  for  safety  into  the 
desert,  before  some  one  of  the  mountain-peaks 
would  have  been  singled  out  as  being  specifically 
that  on  which  the  Law  was  delivered  to  Moses 
in  the  sight  of  the  children  of  Israel.  "And  be 
ready  against  the  third  day ;  for  the  third  day 
the  Lord  will  come  down  in  the  sight  of  all  the 
people  upon  Mount  Sinai.  And  Moses  brought 
forth  the  people  out  of  the  camp  to  meet  with 
God ;  and  they  stood  at  the  nether  part  of  the 
mount  And  Mount  Sinai  was  altogether  on  a 
smoke,  because  the  Lord  descended  upon  it  in 
fire ;  and  the  smoke  thereof  ascended  as  the 
smoke  of  a  furnace,  and  the  whole  mount  quaked 
greatly"  (Exod.  xix.  n,  17,  18).  It  is,  there- 
fore, quite  natural  that  Jebel  Serbal  should  have 
been  originally  identified  by  the  Coptic,  or 
Egyptian  Christians,  with  the  Mountain  of  the 
Law:  for  it  is  the  first  lofty  mountain,  being 
6734  feet  high,  that  the  fugitives  would  fall  in 
with  on  their  way  out  of  Egypt :  it  is  an  isolated 
peak,  and  in  a  superficial  manner  it  readily  answers 
to  the  general  requirements  of  the  Scripture  nar- 
rative.    It  even  appears  to  have  been  a  "high 


place "  of  the  native  Arab  tribes,  who  made 
pilgrimages  to  it,  and  offered  sacrifices  on  it, 
before  the  Christian  hermits  applied  it  to  their 
own  religious  uses,  and  built  upon  it  what  must 
be  regarded  as  the  oldest  convent  within  the 

It  was  the  traveller  Burckhardt  who  first  sug- 
gested the  priority  of  Jebel  Serbal,  and  his 
reasoning  on  the  subject  is  most  cogent,  if  not 
absolutely  conclusive.  His  words  are i1  "It  will  be 
recollected  that  no  inscriptions  are  found  either  on 
the  Mountain  of  Moses  [he  refers  to  Jebel  Musa, 
the  present  traditional  Mount  Sinai]  or  on  Mount 
St.  Catherine ;  and  that  those  which  are  found  in 
the  Ledja  Valley  at  the  foot  of  Djebel  Katerin, 
are  not  to  be  traced  above  the  rock,  from  which 
the  water  is  said  to  have  issued,  and  appear  only 
to  be  the  work  of  pilgrims,  who  visited  that  rock. 
From  these  circumstances,  I  am  persuaded  that 
Mount  Serbal  was  at  one  period  the  chief  place 
of  pilgrimage  in  the  peninsula:  and  that  it  was 
then  considered  the  mountain  where  Moses  received 
the  tables  of  the  law ;  though  I  am  equally  con- 
vinced, from  a  perusal  of  the  Scriptures,  that  the 

1  Burckhardt' 8  Travels  in  Syria,  &c.f  p.  609,  4to  edit,  1822.    See 
also  Lepsius's  Letters,  p.  533,  Horner's  trans.,  1853. 


Israelites  encamped  in  the  Upper  Sinai,  and  that 
either  Djebel  Mousa  or  Mount  St.  Catherine  is  the 
real  Horeb.  It  is  not  at  all  impossible  that  the 
proximity  of  Serbal  to  Egypt  may  at  one  period 
have  caused  that  mountain  to  be  the  Horeb  of  the 
pilgrims,  and  that  the  establishment  of  the  con- 
vent in  its  present  situation,  which  was  probably 
chosen  from  motives  of  security,  may  have  led  to 
the  transferring  of  that  honour  to  Djebel  Mousa. 
At  present,  neither  the  monks  of  Mount  Sinai  nor 
those  of  Cairo  consider  Mount  Serbal  as  the  scene 
of  any  of  the  events  of  sacred  history :  nor  have 
the  Bedouins  any  tradition  among  them  respecting 
it ;  but  it  is  possible  that  if  the  Byzantine  writers 
were  thoroughly  examined,  some  mention  might 
be  found  of  this  mountain,  which  I  believe  was 
never  before  visited  by  any  European  traveller." 

Subsequent  investigations  have  established  the 
sagacity  and  general  correctness  of  the  German 
traveller's  remarks.  The  fact  that  the  so-called 
Sinaitic  Inscriptions  are  plentiful  on  and  about 
Jebel  Serbal,  whilst  none,  or  scarcely  any,  are  found 
on  Jebel  Musa  or  Jebel  Katharina,  demonstrates 
that  the  first -named  mountain  was  the  original 
object  of  religious  pilgrimages ;  and  the  fact  that 
these  inscriptions  were  principally,  if  not  entirely, 

JEBEL  SERB  A  L.  13 

the  work  of  native  heathen  pilgrims,  who  came 
there  to  offer  sacrifices  and  thank-offerings,1  just 
as  the  Mohammedan  Beduins  do  on  the  self-same 
mountain  at  the  present  day,  and  as  they  do  on 
Jebel  Bdghir,  or  Jebel  e'  Ntir  (Mountain  of  Light), 
which  I  have  lately  discovered,  and  which  I  re- 
gard as  the  true  Mount  Sinai,  must  undoubtedly 
be  understood  to  indicate  that  Serbal  was  at 
an  early  period  the  centre  of  an  ancient  Pagan 
worship ;  though  there  is  nothing  in  the  character 
of  any  of  those  inscriptions,  as  now  deciphered,  to 
connect  them  in  any  way  with  the  age  of  the 
Exodus,  or  any  period  at  all  approaching  it.  On 
the  contrary,  the  general  opinion  now  is  that  not 
any  of  the  inscriptions  are  older  than  the  first 
centuries  of  the  Christian  era,  and  that  they  bear 
no  reference  to  any  earlier  historical  period. 

The  actual  claim  of  Jebel  Serbal  to  be  the 
true  Mount  Sinai  was  first  advanced  by  Professor 
Lepsius  in  the  year  1845,  and  advocated  with 
much  learning  in  his  "  Letters  from  Egypt, 
Ethiopia,  and  the  Peninsfria  of  Sinai,"  published 
in  Germany  in  1852,  and  in  an  English  translation 
in  1853.  It  has  since  been  ably  maintained  by 
several  travellers  and  scholars,  both  in  England 

1  See  Reise  in  Abyssinien,  von  Ed.  Riippell,  voL  i.  p.  127. 


and  on  the  Continent,  the  latest  of  them  being 
Dr.  Ebers,  in  his  work,  "  Durch  Gosen  zum  Sinai," 
published  at  Leipzig  in  1872. 

It  is  scarcely  necessary  to  explain  that  the 
arguments  of  Lepsius  and  his  followers  in  proof 
of  the  superior  claim  of  Jebel  Serbal  over  Jebel 
Musa  are  based  on  the  gratuitous  assumption 
that  one  of  the  two  must  necessarily  be  the  true 
Mount  Sinai.  As,  however,  I  think  I  shall  be 
able  to  show  the  claim  of  the  one  mountain  has 
no  better  foundation  than  that  of  the  other, 
it  would  be  altogether  beside  my  purpose  to  dis- 
cuss their  respective  merits.  All  that  concerns 
me  is  the  fact,  which  those  scholars  have  suffi- 
ciently established,  that  Jebel  Serbal  was  deemed 
to  be  Mount  Sinai  before  that  honour  was  acquired 
by  Jebel  Musa. 

The  ancient  convent  in  Wady  Sigillfyeh,  now  in 
ruins,  which  was  seen  by  Burckhardt,  and  has 
recently  been  visited  by  Professor  Palmer  and 
my  friend  Major  Wilson,  points  to  a  time  when 
that  on  Jebel  Musa  had  not  come  into  existence  : 
and  there  is  every  reason  for  concurring  in  the 
suggestion  of  the  German  traveller,  that  the 
proximity  of  Serbal  to  Egypt,  which  in  the  first 
instance  caused  that  mountain  to  be  regarded  as 


the  Sinai  of  the  pilgrims,  and  led  to  the  build- 
ing of  the  convent,  became  at  a  later  period  a 
cause  of  insecurity  and  peril  to  the  monks  who 
inhabited  it;  and  in  consequence  to  have  led  to 
the  founding  of  the  convent  which  was  erected 
on  the  more  secluded  Jebel  Musa,  as  a  place  of 
greater  security: — in  like  manner  as  the  scene  of 
St.  Paul's  conversion,  which  was  on  the  highroad 
from  Jerusalem  to  Damascus,  and  therefore  neces- 
sarily on  the  south-west  of  the  latter  city,  has, — 
for  the  convenience  of  pilgrims,— been  shifted 
to  the  neighbourhood  of  the  Latin  Convent,  on 
the  east  side  of  Damascus;1  or  as  in  the  more 
glaring  case  of  the  scene  of  the  Annunciation,  the 
Holy  House  having  been  bodily  transported  from 
Nazareth  first  into  Dalmatia,  and  thence  again  to 

It  may  even  be,  that  the  transfer  of  Sinai,  or 
Horeb,  from  Jebel  Serbal  to  Jebel  Musa  was  not 
made  directly,  but  through  the  intervention  of 
Jebel  Katarina,  which  mountain,  as  is  shown  by 
the  "  Sinaitic "  inscriptions  found  by  Burckhardt 
in  the  Ledja  valley  at  its  foot,  was  at  some  time 
or  other  certainly  regarded  as  the  true  Mountain 

1  See  Mrs.  Beke's  work,  "Jacob's  Flight,"  p.  88,  London,  Long- 
mans &  Co.,  1865. 


of  the  Law,  as  it  is  still  deemed  to  be  by  the 
traveller  Rlippell.1  Indeed  its  superior  elevation 
over  all  the  other  mountain  peaks  (except  that 
of  Jebel  Zebir)  within  the  peninsula,  namely,  8536 
feet  (Burckhardt  seems  to  favour  Jebel  Katarina), 
against  Jebel  Serbal,  6734  feet,  and  Jebel  Musa, 
7363  feet;  even  the  giant  Um  Shaumer,  8449 
feet,  might  be  regarded  as  favouring  its  claim 
to  be  Josephus  s  u  highest  mountain  within  the 
region  wherein  it  is  situate,"  did  but  other  cir- 
cumstances combine  to  countenance  such  a  claim. 

In  the  consideration  of  this  shifting  from  time 
to  time  of  the  name  Sinai  or  Horeb  from  one 
mountain  peak  to  another  within  the  peninsula, 
the  especial  point  to  be  borne  in  mind  is  the 
order  of  succession,  and  this  clearly  appears  to 
be — first,  Serbal;  secondly,  Jebel  Katarina;  thirdly, 
Jebel  Musa ;  and  now,  of  late  years,  Ras  Sufs&feh. 
Such  being  the  case,  it  is  manifest  that  everything 
like  an  appeal  to  tradition  must  be  cast  to  the 
winds,  except  perhaps  in  the  case  of  Jebel  Serbal 
alone,  which  mountain  has  at  all  events  the  special 
and  exclusive  merit  of  having  been  deemed  to  be 
the  Mountain  of  God  before  the  upstart  Jebel  Musa 
was  even  thought  of  as  such. 

1  Riippeirs  Reise  in  Abyssinien,  vol.  i.  p.  120. 

PHARAN.  1 7 

Of  the  fact  that,  in  the  first  ages  of  the  Christian 
era,  Jebel  Serbal,  and  not  Jebel  Musa,  was  con- 
sidered to  be  Mount  Sinai,  the  particulars  extracted 
from  the  works  of  early  Greek  ecclesiastical  writers 
now  about  to  be  related  will  leave  no  room  for 

It  must  be  premised  that  Ptolemy,  when  de- 
scribing the  peninsula  between  the  Heroopolitan 
and  Elanitic  gulfs  (the  gulfs  of  Suez  and  Akaba, 
in  which  the  city  of  Pharan  was  situate),  mentions 
among  the  tribes  dwelling  to  the  westward  of  the 
Black  Mountains  (the  Sinaitic  range)  towards  Egypt, 
the  Saracens  {Sapcuerjvoi),  the  Pharanites1  (Qapavlrat) , 
and  the  Raithenoi  (PaWrjvoi),  the  last  named  being 
towards  the  mountains  of  Arabia  Felix. 

There  is  great  difficulty  in  reconciling  the  details 
of  Ptolemy's  topography  of  this  region  with  our 
present  precise  knowledge  of  it,  but  sufficient  is 
known  to  enable  us  to  identify  the  city  of  Pharan 
with  the  modern  Feiran,  near  Jebel  Serbal,  where 
the  ruins  of  the  ancient  city  still  exist — a  view  of 
them  being  given  by  Laborde  in  his  work,  "  Voyage 
de  TArabie  Pdtr^e,"2 — these  ruins  being  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  the  ancient  copper  mines,  whence  the 

1  Geogr.,  vi.  7,  21,  v.  17,  3. 

*  Voyage  de  l'Arabie  Pltree,  p.  69,  Paris,  1830. 



Egyptians  obtained  the  Lapis  Pharanites  or  tur- 
quoise; whilst  Ptolemy's  Raithenoi  must  be  the 
inhabitants  of  the  district  containing  the  modern 
town  of  Tor,  called  'PcuOov  by  the  Greek  Christians, 
both  in  ancient  and  modern  times.  The  name 
of  Saracens,  though  now  the  appellation  of  the 
Arabian  invaders  of  the  Western  world  generally 
(as  will  next  be  shown),  was  limited  in  the  early 
ages  to  the  tribes  dwelling  at,  or  in  the  vicinity  of 

As  early  as  a.d.  250,  Dionysius  of  Alexandria 
speaks  of  the  monasteries  of  Sinai  as  being  the 
refuge  of  Egyptian  Christians  in  times  of  perse- 
cution, where  they  were  often  attacked  and  made 
slaves  by  the  Saracens  or  Arabs.1 

The  first  hermit  of  whom  we  have  any  specific 
knowledge  is  Sylvanus,  who  lived  about  a.d.  365, 
and  is  called  by  Tillemont,  Abbot  of  Mount  Sinai. 

But  the  great  agent  in  Christianising  the  coun- 

1  See  Gallandii  Bibliotheca  Vet  Patrum,  vol.  iii.  p.  516. 

Dionysius's  text  makes  no  definite  mention  of  monasteries — he 
seems  to  intimate  that  many  Christians  perished  in  the  mountain 
wilds,  while  others  were  carried  off  by  Arabs  and  put  to  ransom. 

Galland's  note  on  els  rb  Apdpiop  6pos: — "  Moris  est  ita  dictus,  cujus 
meminit  Herodotus,  quern  Ptolemasus  et  alii  Troicum  vocant  Male 
ergo  Christophorsonus  montein  Arabia  vertit  Paullo  post  Arabicus 
dicitur  (rb  Apapucbv  6pos),  ob  vicinitatem  Arabum  ita  nominatus." 

The  passage  occurs  in  a  letter  to  Fabius,  Bishop  of  Antioch, 
apud  Euseb.  Hist  Eccl.,  lib.  vL  cap.  41, 42,  and  44- — Ed. 

NIC  ON.  19 

tries  south  of  Palestine,  and  in  introducing  the 
monastic  life  into  these  regions,  was  Hilarion,1  a 
disciple  of  St.  Anthony,  who  was  born  a.d.  291, 
at  Thabatha,  near  Gaza,  and  died  a.d.  371,  two 
years  before  the  slaughter  of  Raitha,  hereafter  to 
be  related. 

In  the  time  of  the  Emperor  Julian  (360-3) 
the  deserts  of  Sinai  were  beginning  to  teem  with 
ascetics,  whom  the  example  of  Hilarion  had  at- 
tracted to  the  monastic  life.  Among  these  ascetics 
was  Nicon,  who  is  supposed  to  be  the  same  as 
is  honoured  by  the  Greeks  on  the  26th  Novem- 
ber, and  of  whom  the  following  story  is  told  by 
Nilus,  who,  like  Nicon,  is  a  saint  of  the  Greek 
calendar : — Nicon  was  dwelling  on  Mount  Sinai, 
when  the  seducer  of  the  daughter  of  an  inhabitant 
of  Pharan  persuaded  her  to  accuse  that  venerable 
man  of  the  crime.  On  this  the  father  of  the  girl 
went  after  Nicon  to  kill  him ;  but  on  his  raising 
his  sword  in  the  act  of  striking  him,  his  hand 
became  withered.  Not  deterred  by  this  miracle, 
the  father  accused  the  saint  before  the  priests  of 
Pharan,  who  caused  him  to  be  beaten,  and  would 
have  banished  him  from  the  country,  but  that  he 

1  See  his  life  written  by  Jerome,  Vita  S.  Hilarionis,  Hieronymi 
Opera,  torn.  ii.  p.  30,  Patrolog.  Curous,  Migne,  Paris,  1849. 


asked  permission  to  remain  in  order  to  do  penance. 
For  three  years  he  remained  excommunicated,  no 
one  being  allowed  to  speak  to  him;  and  during 
that  period  he  came  every  Sunday  to  the  church 
with  the  other  penitents  to  beseech  the  faithful 
to  pray  for  him.  At  length  it  pleased  God  to 
make  known  Nicon's  innocence;  the  true  seducer 
of  the  girl,  possessed  by  the  devil,  openly  confessed 
before  the  whole  congregation  his  crime  and  his 
calumny.  On  this  all  the  inhabitants  of  the  place 
went  to  demand  pardon  of  the  saint,  who  readily 
granted  it,  but  refused  to  remain  longer  among 
them,  inasmuch  as  not  a  single  one  of  them  had 
shown  any  charity  or  compassion  for  him. 

Ammonius  relates  the  following  anecdote :  l — 
"A  vessel  from  Aila  was  stranded  on  the  shores 
of  the  Avalitic  gulf  (the  modern  Gulf  of  Zeila). 
The  people  of  this  district  (whom  the  historian 
designates  by  the  convenient  but  much- abused 
term  Blemmyes)  seized  on  the  vessel,  and  (being 
accustomed  to  navigation),  resolved  to  use  it  in 
a  piratical  excursion  against  the  wealthy  city  of 
Clysma.  They  sailed  up  the  Arabian  Gulf  (or 
Red  Sea),  and  on  entering  into  the  Heroopolitan 
Gulf,  were  driven  on  the  eastern  shore,   instead 

1  See  Ammonius,  Tillemont,  vii.  576,  577. 


of  the  Egyptian,  to  which  their  voyage  tended. 
They  landed  at  Ratha  (the  modern  Tor),  and  after 
the  massacre  of  part  of  the  inhabitants,  carried 
away  the  rest  as  captives.  Being  driven  a  second 
time  on  the  coast  of  Ratha,  they  murdered  their 
remaining  captives,  but  were  fortunately  over- 
taken by  Obedian  before  they  could  resume  their 
voyage.  The  king  having  heard  of  their  former 
landing  [had]  hastened  to  Eatha  at  the  head  of 
a  small  and  select  body  of  troops,  and  falling  upon 
the  African  savages,  slaughtered  them  to  a  man." 
The  date  of  this  occurrence  is  stated  to  be  the 
year  373  of  the  Christian  era. 

In  the  curious  work  entitled,  "  Narrative  of  the 
Monastic  Monk  Nilus,"  touching  the  massacre  of 
the  monks  on  Mount  Sinai,1  an  account  is  given 
of  an  occurrence  similar  to  that  recorded  by 
Ammonius.  The  writer  describes  how  he  and 
his  son  Theodulus  were  living  as  anchorites  with 
others  on  Mount  Sinai.  The  position  of  their 
residence  was  on  the  mountain  itself,  and  lower 
down  dwelt  other  hermits  at  the  spot  called  "  the 
Bush;"  it  being  supposed  to  be  that  at  which 
Moses  was  first  addressed  by  the  Almighty.2 

1  Narrative  of  the  Monastic  Monk  Nilus,  Paris,  1639,  Narratio.  iv. 

*  Exod.  iii.  4. 


Nilus  and  his  son  were  in  the  habit  of  visiting 
these  other  hermits,  and  one  day  when  they  were 
supping  with  them,  the  priest  of  ,the  place,  named 
likewise  Theodulus,  speaking  with  more  than  his 
usual  kindness,  said,  "  How  do  we  know  whether 
we  shall  ever  sup  together  again  before  we  die  ? " 
The  result  showed  the  pertinency  of  what  he  thus 
said ;  for  early  on  the  morrow,  when  hardly  the 
morning  hymns  had  been  sung,  they  found  them- 
selves attacked  by  a  band  of  Saracens,  who  killed 
the  priest  Theodulus,  and  bis  companion  Paul,  an 
old  man,  with  a  boy  named  John  who  waited  on 
them,  and  then  allowed  all  the  other  men  to 
escape,  but  retained  the  boys.  Those  who  were 
liberated  hastened  to  gain  the  summit  of  the 
mountain,  which  the  Saracens  did  not  dare  to 
approach,  under  the  persuasion  that  the  Majesty 
of  God  resided  there,  it  being  there  that  He 
appeared  to  the  Israelites,  Nilus  was  at  first 
unwilling  to  accept  his  liberty  whilst  his  son  was 
kept  a  prisoner,  but  at  the  solicitation  of  the  latter, 
he  also  escaped  to  the  top  of  the  mountain, 
whence  he  had  the  grief  of  seeing  his  son  carried 
away  by  his  captors,  who  went  on  pillaging  other 
places  and  killing  a  great  number  of  other  persons. 
Nilus  and  the  others  who  had  fled  to  the  top  of 

NILUS.  23 

the  mountain  came  down  from  it  in  the  evening 
to  bury  the  bodies  of  their  slaughtered  brethren. 
Life  had  not  quite  left  the  priest  Theodulus,  who, 
before  breathing  his  last,  had  strength  to  exhort 
them  to  worship  God  without  fear,  and  to  give  them 
the  kiss  of  peace.  After  having  buried  them,  they 
reached  the  city  of  Pharan  before  the  morrow.1 

In  pagp  87  of  the  original  work,  Nilus  speaks 
of  the  Senate  of  that  city,  which  was  also  in  his 
time  the  seat  of  a  bishop.  [But  how  can  this  be 
if  Moses  was  the  first  bishop  ?]  Nilus  has  usually 
been  supposed  to  have  lived  some  time  during  the 
fifth  century,  and  the  slaughter  of  the  monks  on 
Mount  Sinai  related  by  Nilus  has  consequently 
been  supposed  to  be  a  repetition  of  the  event  related 
by  Ammonius.  But  there  is  no  good  reason  for 
imagining  it  to  be  a  different  occurrence. 

In  a.d.  372  or  373  the  prince  was  Obedian,  who 
died  soon  after,  and  was  succeeded  by  his  wife, 
Ma  via  or  Moawiyah,  who,  ten  years  after  Julian  had 
carried  the  Roman  arms  triumphantly  beyond  the 
frontier  to  the  capital  of  Persia, — where,  how- 
ever, he  was  slain  in  the  moment  of  victory, — 
defeated  the  Roman  forces  in  Phoenicia.  Socrates 
relates  that  no  sooner  had  the  Emperor  (Yalens) 

1  Tillemont,  xir.  200-203. 


departed  from  Antiocb,  than  the  Saracens,  who 
had  before  been  in  alliance  with  the  Romans, 
revolted  from  him,  being  led  by  Mavia,  their 
Queen,  whose  husband  (Obedian  ?)  was  then  dead. 
All  the  regions  of  the  East,  therefore,  were  at 
that  time  ravaged  by  the  Saracens;  but  their 
fury  was  repressed  by  the  interference  of  Divine 
Providence,  in  the  manner  I  am  about  to  relate.  A 
person  named  Moses,  a  Saracen  by  birth,  who  led 
a  monastic  life  in  the  desert,,  became  exceedingly 
eminent  for  his  piety,  faith,  and  miracles.  Mavia, 
the  Queen  of  the  Saracens,  was  therefore  desirous 
that  this  person  should  be  consecrated  bishop  over 
her  nation,  and  promised  on  this  condition  to 
terminate  the  war.  The  Roman  generals  consider- 
ing that  a  peace  founded  on  such  terms  would  be 
extremely  advantageous,  gave  immediate  directions 
for  its  ratification.  Moses  was  accordingly  seized, 
and  brought  from  the  desert  to  Alexandria,  in 
order  to  his  being  initiated  into  the  sacerdotal 
functions ;  but,  on  his  presentation  for  that  pur- 
pose to  Lucius,  who  at  that  time  presided  over  the 
churches  in  that  city,  he  refused  to  be  ordained  by 
him,  protesting  against  it  in  these  words:— "I 
account  myself  indeed  unworthy  of  the  sacred 
office ;  but  if  the  exigences  of  the  state  require  my 


bearing  it,  it  shall  not  be  by  Lucius  laying  his 
hand  upon  me,  for  it  has  been  filled  with  blood  " 
Moses  having  expressed  himself  in  this  manner, 
was  taken  by  his  friends  to  the  mountains,  that  he 
might  receive  ordination  from  the  bishops  who 
lived  in  exile  there.  His  consecration  terminated 
the  Saracenic  war ;  and  so  scrupulously  did  Mavia 
observe  the  peace  thus  entered  into  with  the 
Romans,  that  she  gave  her  daughter  in  marriage 
to  Victor,  the  commander  in  chief  of  the  Eoman 

The  same  story  is  related  by  Theodoret  sub- 
stantially in  slightly  different  terms.  His  words 
are : — "  At  this  period  the  tribe  of  Ishmaelites 
ravaged  the  provinces  situated  on  the  frontier  of 
the  empire.  They  were  led  by  Mavia,  who,  not- 
withstanding her  sex,  possessed  masculine  intre- 
pidity. After  several  engagements  she  made  peace 
with  the  Romans,  and  having  received  the  light 
of  the  knowledge  of  God,  she  stipulated  that  a 
certain  man,  named  Moses,  who  dwelt  on  the 
borders  of  Egypt  and  Palestine,  might  be  ordained 
bishop  of  her  nation.  Valens  acceded  to  her 
request,  and  desired  that  the  holy  man  should  be 
conveyed  to  Alexandria,  and  that  he  should  there 

1  Socrates,  Eccl.  Hist.,  book  iv.  chap.  36. 


receive  the  holy  rite  of  ordination,  for  this  city  was 
nearer  her  place  of  residence  than  any  other.  After 
his  arrival  at  Alexandria,  when  he  found  Lucius 
desired  to  lay  hands  upon  him  for  the  purpose  of 
ordination,  he  said,  'I  account  myself  indeed 
unworthy  of  the  sacred  office ;  but  if  the  exigences 
of  the  state  require  my  bearing  it,  it  shall  not  be 
by  Lucius  laying  his  hand  upon  me,  for  it  has  been 
filled  with  blood/  Lucius  was  deeply  incensed, 
and  wished  to  put  him  to  death ;  but  not  daring 
to  renew  a  war  which  had  been  terminated,  he 
ordered  him  to  be  conveyed  to  the  other  bishops, 
by  whom  he  desired  to  be  ordained.  After  having 
received,  in  addition  to  his  fervent  faith,  the  archi- 
episcopal  dignity,  he,  by  his  apostolic  doctrines, 
and  by  the  working  of  miracles,  led  many  to  the 
knowledge  of  the  truth." x 

It  could  not,  however,  have  been  till  some 
considerable  time  after  the  death  of  this  saintly 
bishop  Moses  that  he  became  confounded  (whether 
intentionally  or  through  ignorance  is  not  at  all 
material),  with  the  great  Lawgiver  of  the  Israelites, 
so  as  to  allow  the  mountain  called  after  the  for- 
mer to  become  "  traditionally  "  associated  with  the 
latter.     But  when  once  the  ball  was  set  rolling, 

1  Theod.,  Eccl.  Hist.,  book  iv.  chap.  23. 






JEBEL  SERB  A  L.  27 

the  Greek  ecclesiastics  were  at  no  loss  in  finding 
materials  to  increase  its  bulk,  till  at  length  almost 
the  whole  Christian  world  has  been  brought  to 
look  on  Jebel  Musa — the  Mountain  of  (Bishop) 
Moses — as  the  veritable  Mount  Sinai. 

From  the  foregoing  anecdotes,  the  general  truth 
of  which  cannot  reasonably  be  questioned,  it  is 
manifest  that,  in  the  time  of  Nicon,  Nilus,  and 
Ammonius,  Mount  Sinai  was  considered  to  be  in 
the  immediate  vicinity  of  Pharan.  Therefore  it 
could  have  been  no  other  than  Jebel  Serbal,  which 
is  distant  only  about  five  miles  from  Wady  Feiran. 
To  suppose  the  incidents  related  could  have  referred 
to  Jebel  Musa,  which  lies  more  than  twenty  miles 
in  a  direct  line  from  that  spot,  would  render  the 
whole  story  inconsistent,  and  consequently  impos- 
sible. That  Jebel  Serbal  continued  to  be  regarded 
as  the  true  Mount  Sinai  till  the  beginning  of  the 
sixth  century  is  proved  by  the  statement  of  the 
Coptic  monk  Cosmas  Indicopleustes,  who  then 
visited  the  Holy  Mountain.  The  testimony  of  this 
traveller  is  too  precise  and  explicit  to  be  open  to 
any  question.  He  relates  that,  landing  at  Raithu 
(PaiBov),  (the  town  of  Ptolemy's  'PaWrjvol,  and  the 
modern  Tor),  which  was  two  days'  journey  from 
Sinai,  he  went  along  the  Wady  Hebron  to  Rephidim, 


which  is  now  called  Pharan,  where  he  was  at  the 
termination  of  his  Sinaitic  journey.  From  this 
spot,  he  says,  Moses  went  with  the  elders  "  unto 
Horeb,  which  is  in  the  Sinaic  (Mountain),  the  same 
being  about  six  thousand  paces  (six  miles)  from 
Paran. "  *  And  in  a  subsequent  passage  he  distinctly 
affirms   that  he  journeyed   on  foot  to   all  these 

places   (&9   avrbs  eyo»   irefyvaa^   rov$   tottovs  fiapTvpa>, 

"  as  I  myself,  having  visited  these  places  on  foot, 
bear  witness  ").2  And  it  was,  as  he  journeyed  on 
foot,  in  the  wilderness  of  Mount  Sinai,  that  he 
saw  the  inscriptions  which  he  supposed  to  have 
been  written  by  the  children  of  Israel,  and  which, 
in  consequence  of  this  supposition,  are  known 
as  the  Sinaitic  Inscriptions.  Now,  although  the 
distance  of  two  days'  journey  from  Tor  corresponds 
equally  well  both  to  Jebel  Musa  and  to  Jebel 
Serbal,  the  distance  to  Pharan  of  six  thousand 
paces,  and  the  presence  of  the  Sinaitic  inscriptions, 
can  apply  to  the  latter  mountain  alone.  So  far, 
all  is  clearly  in  favour  of  Jebel  Serbal. 

But  on  the  other  hand,  it  appears  not  less  clear 
from  the  Greek  writer  Procopius,  who  was   the 

1  Topograph.  Christ.,  lib.  v.  sect.   196,  apud  Migne,  Patrol  og. 
Cursus,  vol.  lxxxviii.,  Series  Graeca. 
*  Ut  supra,  lib.  v.  sect.  205. 


contemporary  of  the  last-named  writer,  Cosmas, 
that  Jebel  Musa  had  at  that  time  begun  to  be 
regarded  as  the  true  Mount  Sinai.  He,  Procopius, 
says  that  in  the  third  Palestine,  which  was  formerly 
called  Arabia,  is  a  barren  mountain  named  Sinai, 
which  is  as  if  it  were  suspended  over  the  Red 
Sea.  This  mountain  was  inhabited  by  monks, 
who,  living  in  pious  solitude  and  in  the  medi- 
tation of  death,  and  having  no  wants  in  this 
world,  required  nothing  more ;  so  that  all  the 
Emperor  Justinian  could  do  for  them  was  to  build 
them  a  church,  which  he  dedicated  to  the  Mother 
of  God.  This  church,  says  Procopius,1  was  not 
erected  on  the  summit  of  the  mountain,  where 
Moses  received  the  Law,  but  far  below ;  because, 
no  one  could  pass  the  night  on  the  summit  on 
account  of  the  noises  heard  there,  which  caused 
them  to  fear  and  tremble :  in  this  agreeing  with 
the  reports  of  Ammonius  and  Nilus,  which  them- 
selves are  in  accordance  with  the  tradition  recorded 
by  the  Jewish  historian  Josephus.  Procopius  adds, 
that  Justinian  also  caused  a  very  strong  castle  to 
be  built  at  the  foot  of  the  mountain,  in  which 
he  placed  a  sufficient  garrison,  in  order  to  prevent 

1  Procop.  de  jEdificiis,  y.  8,  ap.  Corpus  Script  Hist  Byzant,  ecL 


the  inroads  into  Palestine  of  the  barbarian  Saracens 
who  inhabited  these  desert  regions. 

The  erection  of  this  castle  by  Justinian  had 
evidently  some  connection  with  the  treaty  which 
that  Emperor  made  with  the  prince  of  the  Saracens, 
called  by  Procopius,1  Abocharagos,  who,  submitting 
himself  to  the  Emperor,  surrendered  his  country  to 
him,  and  was  in  return  appointed  by  him  Governor 
(Phy larch)  of  the  Saracens  of  Palestine;  an  arrange- 
ment which,  in  the  estimation  of  the  historian, 
gave  the  Emperor  nothing  but  a  nominal  sove- 
reignty. If  this  Saracen  prince,  Abocharabos,  was 
a  successor  of  Obedian  and  Mavia,  whose  seat  of 
government  was  at  Pharan,  it  might  almost  be 
conjectured  that  the  Mount  Sinai  overhanging  the 
Red  Sea,  on  which  the  Emperor  built  the  church 
dedicated  to  the  Mother  of  God,  and  at  the  foot  of 
which  he  erected  a  fortress,  might  still  have  been 
Jebel  Serbal,  and  not  Jebel  Musa.  But  without 
insisting  on  this,  it  will  be  sufficient  to  say  that 
the  Church  of  the  Virgin  Mother  of  God,  described 
by  Procopius  as  being  some  way  down  the  moun- 
tain's side,  cannot  have  stood  on  the  site  of  the  pre- 
sent Convent  of  the  Transfiguration  on  Jebel  Musa, 
but  must  rather   be  represented   by  the   existing 

1  Procop.  de  Bello  Persicos,  L  19,  sect.  3. 


Chapel  of  the  Virgin,1  on  Jebel  Serbal,  which  stands 
at  some  distance  above  the  convent,  whilst  the 
convent  itself  represents  Justinian's  castle  at  the 
foot  of  the  mountain.  The  "  tradition "  of  the 
monks  of  the  convent,  that  the  Chapel  of  the 
Virgin  is  of  later  date,  is  manifestly  only  a  part 
of  the  general  system  of  fraud  and  imposture  in 
which  the  whole  history  of  the  convent  is  involved. 
After  the  lapse  of  so  many  ages,  it  may  be  diffi- 
cult, if  not  impossible,  to  determine  the  actual 
circumstances  under  which  Jebel  Musa  came  to 
supersede  Jebel  Serbal  as  Mount  Sinai.  But 
the  change  may  well  have  been  caused,  as  Hitter 
suggests,  by  party  views  and  jealousy  between 
the  monks  of  Constantinople  and  Alexandria.  It 
is  certainly  remarkable  that  the  rival  claims  of 
the  two  mountains  should  have  been  in  existence 
at  the  same  moment ;  those  of  Jebel  Serbal  being 
evidenced  by  the  Coptic  monk,  Cosmas  Indico- 
pleustes,  and  those  of  Jebel  Musa  by  the  Greek 
historian,  Procopius,  both  writing  at  the  begin- 
ning of  the  sixth  century.  But  the  fact  that  the 
monks  of  the  convent  on  the  former  mountain  were 
Egyptians,  or  Copts,  and  that  those  on  Jebel  Musa 
were  orthodox  Greeks,  would  sufficiently  explain 

1  See  Robinson's  Biblical  Researches,  vol.  i.  pp.  97,  102,  104. 


not  only  the  rivalry  between  the  two,  but  the 
eventual  victory  of  the  latter.  It  is  quite  certain 
that  the  Greek  monks  would  not  have  been  at 
all  scrupulous  as  to  the  means  they  employed  to 
gain  the  victory  over  their  heterodox  rivals.  The 
deliberate  fraud  and  falsehood  of  the  Greek  clergy, 
from  the  earliest  ages  of  Christianity,  are  matters 
of  history.  In  my  work,  "  Jesus  the  Messiah," * 
I  have  adduced  some  striking  examples  of  this,  to 
which  I  will  refer  my  readers. 

There  can  be  no  question  as  to  the  fact  that 
Pharan,  near  Mount  Serbal,  was  the  first  Christian 
centre  of  the  Peninsula,  and  that  the  church 
founded  by  the  Emperor  Justinian,2  on  Jebel  Musa, 
was  dependent  on  the  Bishop  of  Pharan,  and  so 
continued  during  several  centuries,  which  would 
hardly  have  been  the  case  had  Jebel  Musa,  and  not 
Jebel  Serbal,  been  from  the  commencement  deemed 
to  be  Mount  Sinai. 

The  two  inscriptions  on  the  wall  of  the  convent 
on  Jebel  Musa  afford  another  instance  of  Greek 
fraud  and  imposture.  These  inscriptions,  which 
are  in  Greek  and  Arabic,  assert  that  this  convent 
was  built  by  the  Emperor  Justinian  in  the  527th 
year  of  the  Christian  era.     But,  according  to  my 

1  Jesus  the  Messiah,  chaps,  iii.,  iv.,  London,  Triibner  &  Co.,  1872. 
*  ProcopiuVs  Life  of  Justinian,  cap.  ii.  sect.  1. 

JEBEL  MC/SA.  33 

erudite  friend,  Dr.  Wetzstein,  formerly  Prussian 
Consul  at  Damascus,  the  written  characters  of  the 
Arabic  inscription  indicate  that  it  could  not  have 
existed  before  the  year  550  of  the  Hegira  (a.d. 
1 1 72),  and  no  earlier  date  can  be  attributed  to  the 
corresponding  Greek  inscription ;  so  that  the  autho- 
rity of  these  fabricated  records  is  worthless.  There 
seems  to  be  a  third  inscription  of  older  date,  which 
Lepsius  could  not  copy  (Lepsius's  Letters,  p.  553). 

Considering  the  views  I  entertain  respecting  the 
real  position  of  the  Mountain  of  the  Law,  it  may 
perhaps  be  deemed  to  have  been  a  work  of  super- 
erogation on  my  part  to  go  into  these  particu- 
lars concerning  Jebel  Musa,  the  traditional  Mount 
Sinai,  and  the  convent  thereon;  but  I  do  so  in 
order  to  demonstrate  to  the  general  reader  the 
worthlessness  of  the  monkish  traditions  connected 
with  the  same. 

The  intrinsic  claims  of  Jebel  Musa  to  be  the 
Mountain  of  the  Law  are  as  worthless  as  its  tradi- 
tional ones.  So  far  from  being  the  highest  moun- 
tain, as  Josephus  styles  it,  Jebel  Musa  is  invisible 
from  every  quarter;1  it  is  almost  concealed  and 
buried;    it    is    neither   distinguished    by   height, 

1  Robinson,  voL  i.  pp.  103-106.     Bartlett,  Forty  Days  in  the 
Desert,  p.  57.    Desert  of  the  Exodus,  p.  112. 



form,  position,  or  any  other  peculiarity.  Professor 
Palmer  admits,  that  "  the  view  from  the  summit 
[of  Jebel  Musa]  does  not  embrace  so  comprehen- 
sive a  prospect  of  the  Peninsula  as  that  from  the 
more  commanding  peaks  of  Eatarina  or  Serbal ; "  * 
and  it  is  absolutely  destitute  of  verdure,  cultivation, 
running  streams,  and  even  of  abundant  springs, 
and  with  no  resources  whatsoever.  In  fact,  it  is 
physically  impossible  for  the  children  of  Israel  to 
have  remained  long  encamped  there. 

So  poor  indeed  are  the  pretensions  of  the  monkish 
Jebel  Musa  to  be  Mount  Sinai,  that  no  scientific 
and  intelligent  traveller  who  has  visited  the  spot, 
and  who  is  not  enslaved  by  the  local  "  traditions," 
but  dares  to  think  for  himself,  can  avoid  seeking 
for  some  other  mountain-peak  in  preference  to 
what  he  feels  to  be  an  impostor ;  Lepsius  choosing 
Jebel  Serbal ;  Kiippell,  Jebel  Katarine ;  and  more 
recently,  Dr.  Edward  Robinson 2  taking  on  himself 
to  substitute  for  it  the  neighbouring  more  northerly 
peak  of  Ras  Sufs&feh. 

Even  the  members  of  the  recent  Ordnance  Sur- 
vey of  the  Peninsula,  who  went  out  to  perform  the 
task  they  have  so  ably  accomplished  with  the  pre- 

1  Desert  of  the  Exodus,  p.  108,  and  Exod.  xix.  16-18. 
*  Robinson's  Biblical  Researches,  vol.  i.  pp.  106,  107. 


conceived  idea  that  Jebel  Musa  must  be  the  true 
Sinai,  have  found  themselves  constrained  to  aban- 
don it  in  favour  of  Eas  Sufsafeh. 

Conscious,  however,  of  the  danger  of  relinquish- 
ing the  "  traditional "  identification  of  Jebel  Musa 
with  the  Sinai  of  Scripture,  they  have  found  it 
necessary  to  give  to  the  former  name  an  extension 
which  in  nowise  belongs  to  it,  which  never  existed 
before  their  time,  and  cannot  honestly  be  main- 
tained. Professor  Palmer,  in  his  work  "  The  Desert 
of  the  Exodus,"  p.  1 1  r,  thus  states  the  case  in 
what  I  cannot  but  regard  as  a  most  disingenuous 
manner.  "Before  entering  upon  the  question  of 
the  exact  scene  of  the  delivery  of  the  Law  "  (sayu 
he),  "it  will  be  necessary  for  me  to  explain  what  is 
meant  by  the  summit  of  Sinai.  Jebel  Musa  is  not  a 
single  peak,  but  a  huge  mountain  block,  about  two 
miles  in  length,  and  one  mile  in  breadth,  with  a 
narrow  valley  on  either  side,  a  somewhat  larger 
one  at  the  so.uth-eastern  extremity,  and  a  spacious 
plain  at  the  north-eastern  end.  A  well-watered 
basin  or  plateau  occupies  the  centre,  and  this  is 
surrounded  by  numerous  peaks,  of  which  two  only, 
those  at  the  extremities,  are  prominent  in  height 
or  position."  And  the  writer  of  a  letter  in  the 
"  Times"  of  April  the  3d,  1874,  under  the  signature 


of  "  One  who  has  been  there  p  l  (seemingly  one  of 
the  surveying  party),  asserts  in  like  manner,  that 
Kas  Sufs&feh  is  "  simply  one  of  the  buttresses  of 
the  great  mountain  known  as  a  whole  as  Jebel 
Musa ; "  and  he  goes  on  to  say,  that  "  any  one 
who  has  stood  on  that  wondrous  cliff,  as  I  have, 
and  looked  down  on  the  great  plain  of  Er  R&hah, 
stretched  out  at  his  feet,  and  rising  gradually,  as 
it  recedes  from  the  base,  like  the  pit  of  a  theatre, 
cannot  fail,  with  the  Bible  narrative  in  his  hands, 
to  recognise  it  as  the  undoubted  spot  where  the 
Israelitish  encampment  stood." 

To  this,  however,  it  has  to  be  categorically  re- 
plied, that  every  one  who  has  been  on  the  spot  or 
at  all  studied  the  subject  knows  perfectly  well  that 
it  is  not  the  fact  that 6i  Jebel  Musa  is  not  a  single 
peak,  but  a  large  mountain  block,"  <fcc. ;  or  that  Ras 
Sufs&feh  is  "  simply  one  of  the  buttresses  of  the 
great  mountain  known,  as  a  whole,  as  Jebel  Musa ; " 
for  that  there  does  not  exist,  and  never  did  exist, 
any  great  "  mountain  block "  bearing  the  name 
of  Jebel  Musa,  which  name  belongs  to  the  separate 
peak  at  the  southern  end  of  the  mountain  block 
known  as  the  monkish  Sinai,  and  to  that  peak 
alone,  on  and  about  which  the  whole  of  the  tra- 

1  The  Times,  3d  April  1874. 


ditional  identifications  of  the  delivery  of  the  Law 
are  congregated ; l  and  the  Ordnance  Survey  Map 
shows  marked  the  two  separate  and  distinct  peaks 
of  Jebel  Musa  with  an  elevation  of  7363  feet,  and 
Ras  Sufs&feh  with  an  elevation  of  6541  feet;2 
the  former  of  those  peaks  being  considered  to  be 
Mount  Sinai,  and  the  latter  Mount  Horeb;  and, 
further,  in  the  map  and  sections  in  Professor 
Palmer's  work,  just  referred  to,8  the  distinction 
between  the  two  peaks  is  plainly  shown,  though 
it  is  ingeniously  contrived  to  make  the  general 
designation  of  Mount  Sinai  comprehend  the  two, 
and  even  to  represent  the  name  "  Jebel  Musa  " 
as  applicable  to  both. 

Seeing  then  the  utter  uncertainty  of  the  whole 
question  of  the  position  of  Mount  Sinai,  which  has, 
if  possible,  been  increased  rather  than  lessened  by 
the  labours  of  the  Ordnance  Surveyors,  however 
valuable  the  results  of  those  labours  must  be  in 
other  respects,  it  appears  to  me,  as  I  have  already 
declared  in  the  "Times"  of  March  30,  1874,  that 
"  the  only  issue  out  of  the  many  difficulties  which 
have  perplexed  earnest  but  anxious  minds,"  and 
the  only  sure  way  to  "  solve  questions  that  have 

1  Exod.  xix.,  xx. 

*  See  Dr.  Beke's  letter  in  the  Times  of  April  9,  1 874. 

3  Desert  of  the  Exodus. 


thrown  discredit  on  the  truth  of  a  portion  of  the 
Bible  history,"  the  confirmation  of  which  was  in 
fact  the  main  object  of  the  Ordnance  Survey,1  is 
to  reopen  the  whole  question,  and  to  consider 
impartially  and  reasonably  the  probable  position 
of  the  Mountain  of  the  Law  upon  the  basis  of  my 
theory  that  the  Mitzraim  of  the  Bible  is  not  the 
"Egypt"  of  Profane  History;  and  that  the  Yam 
Suf  or  Red  Sea,  through  which  the  Israelites  passed 
in  their  Exodus,  is  the  same  "  Red  Sea  in  the  Land 
of  Edom  " 2  that  was  navigated  by  the  Israelitish 
and  Tyrean  fleets  five  centuries  later — namely,  the 
Gulf  of  Akaba,  whence  I  have  just  returned, — 
the  Gulf  of  Suez  having  been  as  little  known  to 
Moses  as  it  was  to  Solomon  and  Hiram. 

Before  entering  upon  the  discussion  of  my 
theory,  or  upon  the  narrative  of  the  journey 
which  I  have  undertaken  for  the  purpose  of  estab- 
lishing its  correctness ;  it  is  expedient  that  I  should 
state,  as  a  most  important  preliminary,  what  I 
conceive  to  be  a  paramount  and  fatal  objection 
to  the  identification  either  wholly  or  in  part  of 
the  Peninsula  of  Pharan,  between  the  gulfs  of 
Suez  and  Akaba,  with  the  wilderness  of  the 

1  See  Athenaeum,  Sept.  26,  1868.  *  1  Kings  ix.  26. 


According  to  the  vulgar  interpretation  of  the 
Scripture  history,  we  are  called  on  to  believe  that 
Moses,  when  he  fled  from  the  face  of  Pharaoh,  took 
refuge  within  a  district  in  which  there  was  a 
colony  of  Egyptians,  with  copper  mines,  which, 
as  the  hieroglyphics  then  show,  were  worked  by 
them,  not  merely  before,  but  actually  at  the  time 
of  the  Exodus ;  and  further,  that  the  Israelites, 
who  were  constantly  in  a  state  of  insubordination, 
and  even  rebellion,  and  anxiously  longing  to  re- 
turn into  Mitzraim  ("  Egypt "),  were,  with  a  view 
to  their  liberation  from  the  house  of  bondage, 
deliberately  led  by  their  inspired  legislator  into 
the  cul-de-sac  between  the  two  gulfs,  where  they 
were  almost  within  sight  of  Egypt,  where  they 
must  have  come  in  contact  with  the  Egyptian 
colonists  and  miners,  and  whence  they  would  at 
any  time  have  had  not  the  slightest  difficulty  in 
returning  to  that  country. 

Professor  Palmer,  whilst  forced  to  admit  that 
"  it  is  most  improbable  that  Moses,  well  versed 
as  he  was  in  all  the  '  learning  of  the  Egyptians/ 
and  acquainted  with  all  the  details  of  their  political 
system,  would  have  led  the  hosts  of  Israel  into 
direct  contact  with  those  enemies  from  whom  they 


were  fleeing," l  seeks  to  get  over  the  difficulty  by 
represeiiting  it  as  merely  a  question  of  whether 
or  not  the  Israelites  were  conducted  by  their  in- 
spired leader  directly  past  the  very  spots  at  Sardbit 
el  KMdim,  at  Wady  Maghdrah,  and  Wady  Nasb, 
where  the  copper  and  turquoise  mines  were  being 
worked ;  and  he  argues,  that  "  as  we  read  in  the 
sacred  narrative  of  no  collision  with  their  late  task- 
masters after  the  overthrow  of  Pharaoh  and  his 
hosts  in  the  Red  Sea,  we  may  fairly  conclude  that 
they  did  not  pass  by  any  of  those  roads,  which 
must  inevitably  have  brought  them  into  the  very 
midst  of  a  large  Egyptian  military  settlement."2 
And  having  thus  slurred  over  this  difficulty,  he 
complacently  remarks,  "  This,  therefore,  consider- 
ably narrows  the  question  by  disposing  of  at  least 
two  of  the  principal  routes  by  which  the  Israelites 
could  have  approached  Mount  Sinai."3 

But  let  the  line  of  march  of  the  Israelites  be 
assumed  to  be  such  as  not  to  lead  to  any  actual 
"  collision  with  their  late  taskmasters,"  it  could 
not  avoid  being  within  fearful  proximity  to  some 
of  the  Egyptian  settlements,  and  even  a  dStour 
of  several  miles  would  not  have  allowed  them  to 

1  Desert  of  the  Exodus,  p.  232.  2  Ibid.  3  Ibid. 

ELIM.  41 

pass  unobserved  the  outposts,  except  on  Professor 
Palmers  monstrous  supposition  that  all  the  Israel- 
itish  host  fell  in  with  was  some  "little  knot  of 
worshippers  who  mayhap  were  bowing  down  to 
Apis  while  the  great  pilgrim  Father  passed."1 
How  long  these  worshippers  had  to  continue  bowed 
down  whilst  the  host  of  the  Israelites  passed  by 
them,  is  left  to  the  imagination  of  the  reader,  who 
is  further  called  on  to  believe  that  their  inspired 
leader  thereby  fancied  himself  and  the  people 
hidden  from  the  view  of  the  Egyptian  soldiery; 
even  as  the  ostrich  is  said  to  fancy  it  conceals 
itself  from  the  view  of  the  hunter  by  hiding  its 
head  in  the  bushes  and  leaving  its  whole  body 
exposed.  In  the  consideration  of  this,  to  me  in- 
surmountable difficulty,  it  must  always  be  borne 
in  mind  that  the  children  of  Israel  remained  some 
time  encamped  at  Elim,2  wherever  it  may  please 
the  traditionists  to  fix  that  place ;  and  that  they 
did  not  reach  the  wilderness  of  Sin,  between  Elim 
and  Sinai,  till  the  fifteenth  day  of  the  second 
month,8  that  is,  one  month  after  the  Exodus ;  that 
it  was  yet  a  fortnight  more  ere  they  encamped 
before  the  Mount ; 4  that  they  remained  stationary 

1  The  Desert  of  the  Exodus,  p.  45.  *  Exod.  xv.  27. 

8  Exod.  xvi.  1.  *  Exod.  xix.  1,  2. 

4  2  DISCO  VER  Y  OF  MO  UNT  SIN  A I. 

there  till  the  twentieth  day  of  the  second  month 
of  the  second  year,1  or  close  on  a  whole  twelve- 
month ;  and  during  the  whole  of  this  period,  even 
Jebel  Musa  itself,  the  extremest  point  of  the 
imagined  sojourn  of  the  Israelites  within  the 
Peninsula,  is  less  than  forty  miles  from  the 
Egyptian  mining  settlements  t  Is  this  within  the 
range  of  the  wildest  imagination  ? 

Such  ideas  as  these  are  so  utterly  preposterous, 
that  it  would  be  inconceivable  how  they  could  be 
entertained  for  a  single  instant,  were  it  not  for  the 
daily  instances  we  unhappily  meet  with  of  the  blind- 
ness with  which  the  "  authority"  of  puerile  tradition 
is  deferred  to,  even  by  persons  of  great  learning, 
and  otherwise  of  the  most  enlarged  minds. 

It  is  true  that  the  objection  here  raised  is,  in 
its  direct  application,  far  more  cogent  in  the  case 
of  Jebel  Serbal  than  of  Jebel  Katarina,  or  Jebel 
Musa,  inasmuch  as  the  former  is  in  the  immediate 
vicinity  of  the  copper  mines,  and  also  of  "  another 
spot  in  the  Peninsula,"  which  we  are  told  was 
a  position  of  great  importance  long  before  the 
time  of  Moses,  and  even  in  his  days,  but  has  lost 
it  since  that  time,  namely,  the  harbour  of  Abu 
Zelimeh,  in  the  Gulf  of  Suez,  within  forty  miles 

1  Numb.  x.  1 1. 

GULF  OF  SUEZ.  43 

of  the  summit  of  Jebel  Serbal,  by  which  spot, 
according  to  the  Ordnance  Survey  party,  the 
Israelites  passed,  inasmuch  as  they  "  were  unani- 
mously of  opinion  that  the  Israelites  must  have 
taken  the  lower  route  by  the  sea-shore,"1  and  than 
which  spot,  in  the  estimation  of  Professor  Lepsius, 
"  there  was  no  more  convenient  landing-place  to 
connect  Egypt  with  those  colonies " s  of  miners. 
Lepsius  complacently  records  how  the  sandy  plain 
on  the  western  side  of  the  mountain  "  disclosed 
to  him  across  the  sea  a  glorious  prospect  of  the 
opposite  coast,  and  the  Egyptian  chain  of  moun- 
tains bounding  it,"3 — a  most  marvellous  locality 
indeed  for  Sinai,  at  the  foot  of  which  the  Israelites 
had  to  remain  so  long  encamped ! 

But  notwithstanding  the  force  of  the  direct 
application  of  the  objection  here  raised,  it  is  even 
more  fatal  to  the  pretensions  of  both  Jebel  Kata- 
rina  and  Jebel  Musa ;  because  such  pretensions  are 
subordinate  to  those  of  Jebel  Serbal,  and  cannot 
Lave  arisen  until  after  the  traditional  repute  of 
the  latter,  if  not  entirely  extinct,  was  already  on 
the  wane,  and  therefore  could  the  more  easily  be 
superseded  by  its  younger,  more  pretentious,  and 

1  Palmer's  Desert  of  the  Exodus,  p.  238. 
*  Lepsius'a  Letters,  p.  305.  9  Ibid.,  p.  296. 


(as  the  mendacious  inscriptions  on  the  convent 
wall  and  Eutychius's  false  statement  testify)  more 
unscrupulous  rival. 

Having  said  this  much,  I  feel  myself  dispensed 
from  taking  any  further  notice  of  all  and  singular 
the  rival  mountain  summits  within  the  region 
between  the  Gulf  of  Suez  and  Akaba,  which  has 
hitherto  erroneously  borne  the  name  of  the  Penin- 
sula of  Mount  Sinai,  but  which  I  propose  to  call 
henceforth  the  Peninsula  of  Pharan — the  country 
of  the  Lapis  Pharanites  (turquoise)  of  Pliny — 
and  I  give  it  the  name  it  bore  in  the  earliest  ages 
of  Christianity,  as  a  standing  protest  and  memorial 
against  the  identifications  of  any  place  within  that 
Peninsula  with  the  Paran  of  Scripture. 

(    45    ) 



Having  proceeded  to  the  consideration  of  the 
position  of  Mount  Sinai,  as  a  preliminary  to  the 
narrative  of  my  journey  for  its  discovery,  it  is 
requisite  that  I  should  say  a  few  words  on  the 
subject  of  the  situation  of  the  Mitzraim  of  the 
Hebrew  Scriptures,  the  land  of  bondage  of  the 
children  of  Israel,  which,  by  the  common  assent  of 
ages,  is  generally  believed  to  be  the  Egypt  of  pro- 
fane history,  but  which  I  have,  during  upwards 
of  forty  years,  maintained  to  be  a  distinct  and 
separate  kingdom  lying  to  the  east  of  the  Isthmus 
of  Suez,  and  thence  extending  to  the  land  of  the 
Philistines :  a  kingdom  which,  in  the  course  of 
time,  lost  its  independent  existence,  and  was 
merged  in  its  more  powerful  and  more  fortunate 
western  neighbour,  Egypt,  whilst  it  became  itself 
"  utterly  waste  and  desolate,"  in  accordance  with 

*  Written  by  the  late  Dr.  Beke,  June  4,  1874. 


the  prophecies  that  had  foretold  its  destruction. 
And  in  immediate  relation  to  and  connection  with 
this  translocation  of  the  Land  of  Bondage,  I  have 
in  like  manner  maintained  that  the  Yam  Suf,  or 
Red  Sea,  through  which  the  Israelites  passed  on 
their  Exodus  from  Mitzraim,  was  the  Sea  of  Edom, 
or  Gulf  of  Akaba,  and  not  the  Gulf  of  Suez,  as  is 
generally  supposed. 

Paradoxical  as  these  opinions  appeared  when 
they  were  first  enunciated  in  "  Origines  Biblicae," 
and  as  they  are  still  considered  to  be  by  the 
majority  of  scholars,  there  are,  nevertheless,  not  a 
few  persons  whose  judgment  is  not  to  be  despised 
— and  I  am  happy  to  say  their  number  is  daily 
increasing — who  are  convinced  of  the  general  cor- 
rectness of  such  opinions ;  and  I  have  further  the 
satisfaction  of  knowing  that  not  only  my  own 
researches,  but  likewise  numerous  facts  bearing  on 
the  subject  which  have  come  to  light  since  the 
publication  of  that  work  in  1834,  have  served  to 
convince  me  that  the  opinions  therein  expressed 
are  substantially  true. 

It  would  be  quite  out  of  place  here  to  enter  upon 
any  lengthened  discussion  of  my  theory  of  the  non- 
identity  of  the  Mitzraim  of  the  Pentateuch  with  the 
Egypt  of  profane  history.     Still,  it  is  essential  that 


I  should  offer  a  few  general  remarks  on  the  subject, 
in  order  to  render  intelligible  to  the  general  reader 
the  views  which  I  entertain  respecting  the  position 
of  Mount  Sinai,  and  the  history  of  the  Exodus. 

For  this  purpose,  discarding  all  traditions  what- 
soever, we  have  to  take  the  simple  statements  of 
Holy  Scripture  as  our  sole9  absolute,  and  exclusive 
guide.  And  in  the  first  place.,  we  find  it  recorded 
in  that  inestimable  canon  of  ethnology  and  geo- 
graphy  handed  down  to  us  in  the  tenth  chapter  of 
Genesis,  under  the  head  of  the  children  of  Ham, 
that  "  Mitzraim  begat  Ludim  .  .  .  and  Pathrusim 
and  Casluhim  (out  of  whom  came  Philistim) ; " l 
from  which  we  learn  that  the  Philistines  were  a 
race  of  cognate  origin  with  the  Mitzrites,  or,  in  fact, 
a  branch  of  the  great  family  of  mankind  classed 
under  the  latter  generic  name.  Hence  it  may  also 
be  inferred  in  a  general  way  that  these  kindred 
people  were  also  neighbours.*  The  contiguity  may 
be  more  clearly  shown  when  the  migrations  of  the 
Patriarch  Abraham  and  his  immediate  descendants 
are  taken  into  consideration.  The  early  migrations 
of  the  Patriarch  himself  have  formed  the  subject 
of  special  study  on  my  part,  resulting  in  a  journey 
into  Syria,  undertaken  by  my  wife  and  myself  in 

1  Gen.  x.  13,  14.  *  Exod.  xiii.  17. 


the  year  1861-62;  and  in  her  work,  "Jacob's 
Flight ;  or,  a  Pilgrimage  to  Harran,  and  thence  in 
the  Patriarch's  Footsteps  into  the  Promised  Land,"1 
it  is  conclusively  demonstrated  that  when  Terah 
and  his  family  "  went  forth  from  Ur-Casdim  (Ur 
of  the  Chaldees)  to  go  into  the  land  of  Canaan, 
and  they  came  unto  Haran  and  dwelt  there/'  *  the 
place  they  thus  removed  to  was  not  the  celebrated 
town  of  Harran  in  Mesopotamia,  according  to 
tradition,  but  a  recently  discovered  village  near 
Damascus  bearing  the  same  name,  the  error 
respecting  its  position  having  been  caused  by  the 
erroneous  identification  of  "Aram  Naharaim,"  or 
Aram  of  the  Two  Rivers,  that  is  to  say,  "  Abana 
and  Pharpar,  rivers  of  Damascus,"  with  Mesopo- 
tamia, the  country  between  the  two  rivers  Euphrates 
and  Tigris ;  the  expression  "  Aram  Naharaim  "  in 
Genesis  xxiv.  10  being  literally  translated  "Meso- 

From  Harran,  in  Aram  of  the  Two  Rivers,  near 
Damascus,  Terah's  son,  Abraham,  was  called  to  go 
into  the  land  of  Canaan,  whither  he  was  accom- 
panied by  his  nephew  Lot8  Their  first  station  was 
Shechem,4  whence  they  removed  to  near  Bethel, 

1  Published  by  Longmans  &  Co.,  London,  1865. 
1  Gen.  xi.  31.  *  Gen.  xii.  1-4.  4  Gen.  xii.  6. 


where  Abram  "  builded  an  altar  to  the  Eternal,"1 
and  seems  to  have  made  a  lengthened  stay,  both 
before  and  after  his  journey  into  the  South  Country 
(Negeb),  and  Mitzraim,  to  which  I  have  now  to 
direct  particular  attention. 

We  first  read  that  from  Bethel  the  Patriarch 
"journeyed,  going  on  still  towards  the  south." 
(The  Hebrew  says,  "in  going  and  journeying," 
which  does  not  affect  the  sense.)  "  And  there  was 
a  famine  in  the  land  ;  and  Abram  went  down  into 
Mitzraim  to  sojourn  there ;  for  the  famine  was 
grievous  in  the  land."8  Without  dwelling  on 
what  occurred  in  that  country,  we  may  go  on  to 
the  following  chapter,  wherein  it  is  stated,  that 
"Abram  went  up  out  of  Mitzraim*.  .  .  .  into 
the  south ; "  that  is  to  say,  into  the  "  Negeb/*  or 
south  country,  through  which  he  had  previously 
passed  on  his  way  to  Mitzraim  ;  and  that  he  there 
"went  on  his  journeys,  from  the  south  (Negeb) 
even  to  Bethel,  unto  the  place  where  his  tent  had 
been  at  the  beginning."4  Now,  it  is  deserving  of 
special  consideration  that  the  very  word  "  Mitz- 
raim," which,  in  the  Septuagint  Greek  version,  and 
all  other  versions  that  follow  it,  is  retained  as  in 

1  Gen.  xii.  17.  '  Gen.  xii.  9,  10. 

3  Gen.  xiii.  1.  *  Gen.  xiii.  3. 



the  original  Hebrew  in  the  tenth  chapter  of  the 
Book  of  Genesis,  is  here,  in  the  twelfth  chapter  of 
the  same  Book,  translated  "  Egypt,"  gratuitously, 
and  most  wrongly,  as  I  contend ;  for  in  the  first 
mention  of  the  name  it  would  have  been  impossible 
to  say,  and  "  Egypt  begat  Ludim,  and  Pathrusim, 
and  Casluhim  (out  of  whom  came  Philistim) ; "  and 
if  so,  on  what  pretence  is  the  Hebrew  word  "  Mitz- 
raim "  in  the  very  next  page  of  the  Bible  to  be 
translated  "Egypt,"  and  thus  made  to  apply  to 
the  country  known  by  that  name  in  Profane 
History  ? 

In  my  opinion,  this  arbitrary  and  wholly  unwar- 
rantable assumption  of  the  identity  of  the  two 
countries,  and  the  consequent  erroneous  translation 
of  the  Hebrew  expression  Mitzraim,  has  been  more 
fraught  with  mischief,  leading  to  the  misunder- 
standing of  the  Scripture  history,  than  any  of 
the  numerous  errors  which  have  unhappily  to 
be  laid  at  the  door  of  the  Septuagint  Greek  trans- 

Independently  of  this,  I  would  ask  whether  it 
is  reasonable  to  imagine,  or  is  it  at  all  likely, 
that  the  Patriarch,  in  his  journeys  between  Bethel 
and  the  distant  western  country  "  Egypt,"  would 
have  proceeded  through  the  "  Negeb "  or  South 

"MITZRAIM"  NOT  "EG  YPT."  5 1 

Country?     A  glance  at  the  map  will  show  tbat 
this  must  be  answered  in  the  negative. 

If,  however,  we  consider  the  land  of  Mitzraim, 
into  which  Abram  went  down  from  the  "  South  " 
Country,  to  be  in  close  proximity  to  that  country 
and  to  the  land  of  the  Philistines,  we  may  without 
difficulty  understand  not  merely  this  portion  of  the 
Scripture  history,  but  likewise  those  subsequent 
portions  in  which  "Mitzraim"  is  wrongly  trans- 
lated "  Egypt."  For  example,  we  read  that  Sarah's 
handmaid,  Hagar  the  "  Mitzrite,"  when  ill-treated 
by  her  mistress,  fled  into  the  wilderness,  to  the 
well  called  "  Beer-lahai-roi,  between  Kadesh  and 
Bered;"  *  and  that  Abraham  afterwards  "journeyed 
from  thence  (Hebron)  towards  the  south  country 
(Negeb),  and  dwelled  between  Kadesh  and  Shur, 
and  sojourned  in  Gerar ; " 9  that  Hagar's  son  Ish- 
mael,  when  driven  with  her  from  his  fathers  house, 
"  dwelt  in  the  wilderness  of  Paran  :  and  his  mother 
took  him  a  wife  out  of  the  land  of  Mitzraim ; "  8 
and  that  he  and  his  descendants  "  dwelt  from 
Havilab  unto  Shur,  that  is  before  Mitzraim,  as 
thou  goest  toward  Assyria:"4 — from  all  which 
texts,  and  from  many  others  that  might  be  cited, 

1  Gen.  xvi.  14.  *  Gen.  xz.  1.  *  Gen.  xxL  21. 

4  Gen.  xxv.  18. 


it  certainly  does  appear  that  the  country  of  Mitz- 
raim  therein  named, — let  its  precise  position  and 
its  boundaries  be  what  they  may,— can  only  have 
been  in  the  immediate  neighbourhood  of  the  land 
of  the  Philistines  and  the  South  Country. 

But  many  years  ago  the  objection  was  raised  by 
the  late  Dean  Milman,  when  reviewing  my  work 
"  Origines  BiblicaB,"  and  it  has  since  been  repeated 
by  many  others,  that  the  Mitzraim  of  Scripture  * 
was  celebrated  for  its  fertile  corn-fields,  which 
supplied  not  merely  the  native  Mitzrites,  but  also 
their  famished  neighbours  with  food,  and  that  this 
could  only  be  Egypt  watered  by  the  river  Nile ; 
and  under  this  view  the  seven  years'  famine  in 
Mitzraim  which  Joseph  prognosticated,  and  saga- 
ciously provided  against,  is  ascribed  to  the  failure 
or  insufficiency  of  the  periodical  inundations  of 
that  river.  But  this  argument  may  be  conclusively 
met  by  that  which  I  adduced  in  answer  to  the 
criticism  of  Dr.  Paulus  of  Jena,2  who,  next  to  Dean 
Milman,  was  my  great  opponent  on  this  subject ; 
namely,  that  natural  causes  operating  during  seven 
consecutive  years  at   the  sources  of  the  Nile  in 

1  See  Quarterly  Review  for  November  1834,  vol.  lii  pp.  510, 

8  See  Heidelberger  Jahrbucher,  January  1835.  See  also  Beke's 
"  Vertheidigung  gegen  Herra  Dr.  Paulus/'  Leipzig,  1835. 


DEAN  M1LMAN.  53 

Abyssinia,  or  elsewhere  in  the  interior  of  Africa, 
could  not  be  connected  with  the  natural  causes 
which  produced  a  famine  in  the  Land  of  Canaan, 
and  in  the  "  South  Country  "  (Negeb)  precisely  dur- 
ing the  same  period.  This  objection  was,  however, 
attempted  to  be  met  by  Dean  Milman's  suggestion 
in  his  "  History  of  the  Jews,"  l  that  "  a  long  and 
general  drought,  which  would  burn  up  the  herbage 
of  all  the  pastoral  districts  of  Asia,  might  likewise 
diminish  that  accumulation  of  waters  which,  at  its 
regular  period,  pours  down  the  channel  of  the  Nile. 
The  waters  are  collected  in  the  greatest  part  from 
the  drainage  of  all  the  high  levels  in  that  region  of 
Central  Africa  where  the  tropical  rains,  about  the 
summer  solstice,  fall  with  incessant  violence."  But 
this  suggestion  is  invalidated  by  the  fact  stated  in 
my  recently  published  pamphlet,  "Mount  Sinai 
a  Volcano,"  p.  19,2  that  the  tropical  winds  on 
which  the  rains  in  Central  Africa  are  dependent  do 
not  extend  to  the  pastoral  districts  of  Asia;  so 
that,  even  on  the  unphilosophical  assumption  of  the 
absolute  suspension  of  those  winds  throughout  the 
tropics  during  seven  consecutive  years,  acting  not 
merely  upon  the  Nile,  but  upon  every  other  river 

1  Oilman's  History  of  the  JewB,  vol.  i.  4th  edit.,  1866,  p.  52. 
1  Published  by  Tinsley  Brothers,  1873. 


throughout  the  world  having  its  sources  within  the 
tropics,  a  second  natural  cause,  independent  of  such 
tropical  winds,  would  still  be  requisite  to  produce 
the  simultaneous  drought  within  the  extra-tropical 
regions  of  Asia  to  which  Canaan  and  the  Negeb 

Hence  I  suggested  to  my  German  reviewer,  and 
I  do  so  now  to  all  who  entertain  the  same  opinion, 
that  as  he  and  they  would  doubtless  be  incredulous 
as  to  the  miraculous  coincidence  of  two  such  dis- 
tinct natural  causes,  they  might,  on  reflection,  be 
inclined  to  admit  that  Mitzraim,  like  Canaan  and  the 
other  districts  where  the  famine  raged  during  one 
and  the  same  period,  could  not  have  been  .situate 
within  the  valley  of  the  Nile;  and  that,  conse- 
quently, one  single  natural  cause,  namely,  an  extra- 
ordinary continual  drought  in  all  those  countries 
at  the  same  time,  with  which  the  inundation  of  the 
Nile  had  nothing  whatever  to  do,  would  suffice  to 
bring  about  the  result  recorded  in  the  Scripture 
history,  the  famine  caused  by  that  extensive 
drought  having  been  specially  and  exclusively  pro- 
vided against  in  Mitzraim  by  the  miraculous  fore- 
sight and  administrative  talent  of  Joseph. 

That  the  Land  of  the  Philistines  was  a  rich  and 
fertile  country,  possessing  vines   and  olives,  and 


producing  corn,  is  shown  by  the  story  of  Samson,1 
and  the  fact  of  its  having  furnished  the  Israelites 
with  a  resource  in  case  of  famine  is  established  not 
only  by  what  is  narrated  of  the  Shunammite  widow, 
who  having  been  forewarned  by  Elisha  of  the  ap- 
proaching seven  years'  famine  in  the  land  of  Israel, 
"  went  with  her  household,  and  sojourned  in  the 
land  of  the  Philistines  seven  years/'  *  precisely  as, 
eight  centuries  previously,  her  ancestor,  the  Patri- 
arch Jacob,  and  his  household,  had,  under  similar 
circumstances,  migrated  into  the  conterminous  corn- 
growing  country  of  Mitzraim ;  but  yet  more  by  the 
apposite  case  of  the  Patriarch  Isaac,  of  whom  we 
read,  that  after  his  father's  death,  and  whilst  he 
"dwelt  by  the  well   Lahai-roi," 8   "there  was  a 
famine  in  the  land,  beside  the  first  famine  that  was 
in  the  days  of  Abraham.     And  Isaac  went  unto 
Abimelech,  king  of  the  Philistines,  unto  Gerar.  And 
the  Eternal  appeared  unto  him,  and  said,  Go  not 
down  into  Mitzraim ;  dwell  in  the  land  which  I 
shall  tell  thee  of.     Sojourn  in  this  land.  .  .  .  And 
Isaac  dwelt  in  Gerar."4    From  which  text  it  is 
manifest  that  even  in  the  time  of  that  patriarch 
the  corn-growing  country  Philistia  was  a  resource 
against  famine,  as  it  was  in  the  time  of  the  Prophet 

1  Judges  xv.  5.  2  2  Kings  viii.  1,  2.  *  Gen.  xxv.  11. 

4  Gen.  xxvi.  1-6. 


Elisha;  and  therefore  the  argument  that  Egypt, 
watered  by  the  Nile,  must  of  necessity  have  been 
the  only  country  that  escaped  the  famine  in  the 
next  generation  after  Isaac,  falls  to  the  ground. 

The  further  objection,  that  the  country  which  I 
assert  to  be  Mitzraim  is  at  the  present  day  a  dreary 
waste,  incapable  of  supplying  its  own  wants,  not  to 
speak  of  those  of  the  adjoining  countries,  is  surely 
not  valid.  How  many  are  the  once  rich,  fertile, 
and  populous  regions  in  various  parts  of  the  earth, 
of  which  the  condition  has  deteriorated  quite  as 
much  as  that  of  the  Mitzraim  of  Scripture  ! 

The  Negeb,  or  "  South  Country,"  in  particular, 
has,  by  the  recent  explorations  of  Professor  Palmer 
and  (the  late)  Mr.  Tyrwhitt  Drake,  been  found 
to  be  covered  with  ruins  of  buildings  and  other 
signs  of  former  prosperity  and  fertility,1  which 
entirely  belie  the  notions  hitherto  entertained  of 
its  utter  inability  to  have  ever  maintained  a 
large  settled  population,  or,  in  fact,  any  inhabi- 
tants whatever  beyond  the  scanty  tribes  that  now 
wander  over  its  barren  surface.  The  following 
extracts  from  the  "  Desert  of  the  Exodus  "  of  the 
former  of  these  two  travellers  shall  be  cited  in  proof 
of  this  assertion.     On  the  road  from  Kala&b  en 

1  See  Wilton's  "  Negeb,"  p.  61,  London,  1863. 


Nakhal  to  Hebron,  in  about  300  20'  N.  lat.,  Profes- 
sor Palmer  says : — "  Descending  into  Widy  Lussdn 
itself,  we  found  considerable  signs  of  former  cul- 
tivation ;  admirably  constructed  dams  stretched 
across  the  valley,  and  on  the  higher  slope  were  long 
low  walls  of  very  careful  construction,  consisting 
of  two  rows  of  stones  beautifully  arranged  in  a 
straight  line,  with  smaller  pebbles  between.  One 
of  these  was  1 80  yards  long,  then  came  a  gap,  and 
another  wall  of  240  yards,  at  the  end  of  which  it 
turned  round  in  a  sharp  angle.  The  next  was  even 
larger,  and  here  the  object  of  the  walls  was  at  once 
apparent,  as  the  enclosure  was  divided  into  large 
steps  or  terraces,  to  regulate  the  irrigation  and  dis- 
tribute the  water,  the  edge  of  each  step  being  care- 
fully built  up  with  stones.  They  formed  Mezdri, 
or  cultivated  patches  of  ground ;  and  from  the  art 
displayed  in  their  arrangement,  belonged,  evidently, 
to  a  later  and  more  civilised  people  than  those  who 
now  inhabit  the  country." 1 

Mr.  Palmer  identifies  this  spot  Lussan  with  the 
ancient  Roman  station  Lysa,  which  is  mentioned  in 
the  Peutinger  Tables  as  situated  forty-eight  Roman 
miles  from  Eboda  or  Abdeh. 

He  goes  on  to  say  that  the  principal  reason  for 

1  Palmer's  Desert  of  the  Exodus,  i87i,p.  347. 


assuming  Hebron,  or  more  properly  Wddy  el  Khalil, 
not  to  be  the  Eshkol  of  Numbers  xiii.  23,  "  appears 
to  be  the  circumstance  that  Hebron  is  the  most 
southern  point  of  Palestine  where  grapes  are  found, 
and  that  the  district  is  still  renowned  for  them. 
But  (says  he)  it  is  a  noteworthy  fact  that  among 
the  most  striking  characteristics  of  the  Negeb  are 
miles  of  hill-sides  and  valleys  covered  with  the 
small  stone-heaps  formed  by  sweeping  together  in 
regular  swathes  the  flints  which  strew  the  ground ; 
along  these  grapes  were  trained,  and  they  still 
retain  the  name  of  TeleiUt  el  'Anab,  or  'grape 
mounds/  Towers  similar  to  those  which  adorn 
the  vineyards  of  Palestine  are  also  of  frequent  oc- 
currence throughout  the  country." l  And  at  page 
356  Mr.  Palmer  says,  "  The  hill-sides  are  traversed 
in  every  direction  by  well-constructed  paths,  and 
traces  are  also  visible  in  the  valley  of  dams  and 
other  devices  for  irrigation,  all  of  which  bespeak  a 
former  state  of  fertility  and  industry."  A  few 
miles  farther  north  the  travellers  came  to  the  con- 
fluence of  W£dy  el '  Ain,  Wddy  Gaseimeh,  and  W&ly 
es  Serdm;  and  the  Professor  adds  (pp.  357,  358), 
"  At  the  mouth  of  W&dy  el  'Ain  the  hill-sides  are 
covered  with  paths  and  walls,  and  the  bed  of  the 

1  ifttcrotm,  Palmer's  Desert  of  the  Exodus,  1871,  p.  352. 

MITZRA1M.  59 

w£dy  has  strongly-built  dams  extending  across  it, 
and  is  filled  with  mez4rf  or  sowing-fields,  and  the 
surrounding  hills  are  covered  with  innumerable 
stone  remains.  ...  As  we  proceed  northward  from 
this  point,  the  marks  of  former  cultivation  become 
more  and  more  apparent  at  every  step.  The  w&dy- 
beds  are  embanked  and  laid  out  in  fields,  and 
dams  are  thrown  across  to  break  the  force  of,  and 
utilise  the  water.  The  hill-sides  are  covered  with 
paths  and  terraces,  and  everywhere  there  is  some 
trace  of  ingenious  industry."  And  next  day  he 
describes  W&dy  Berein  as  "  a  broad  valley,  taking 
its  rise  in  Jebel  Magrdh,  and  filled  with  vegeta- 
tion ;  grass,  asphodel,  and  'oshej  grew  in  great  pro- 
fusion. Flowers  sprang  beneath  our  feet,  immense 
herds  of  cattle  were  going  to  and  fro  between  us 
to  the  wells,  and  large  flocks  of  well-fed  sheep  and 
goats  were  pasturing  upon  the  neighbouring  hills. 
Numbers  of  donkeys,  and  some  horses,  the  first  we 
had  seen  in  the  country,  were  also  feeding  there. 
.  .  .  The  valley  has  been  enclosed  for  purposes  of 
cultivation,  and  banked-up  terraces  (called  by  the 
Arabs  'ugtim),  to  stop  the  force  of  the  sells  and 
spread  the  waters  over  the  cultivated  ground, 
extend  along  the  whole  length  of  the  w£dy-bed." l 

1  Palmer's  Desert  of  the  Exodus,  1871,  p.  361. 


The  followiDg  interesting  description  is  also 
given  by  Professor  Palmer  of  the  mode  in  which 
water  is  obtained  from  wells  sunk  in  the  chalk 
country  of  Berein.  He  says  : — "  Opposite  the 
dowdr  [or  stone  circle  serving  as  enclosure  for 
cattle]  are  two  deep  wells,  built  with  very  solid 
masonry,  and  surrounded  with  troughs  for  water- 
ing the  flocks  and  herds  ;  one  of  them  is  dry, 
the  other  still  yields  good  water,  and  is  about 
twenty-five  feet  deep.  Besides  the  troughs,  there 
are  circular  trenches,  fenced  round  with  stones,  for 
the  cattle  to  drink  from.  A  man  in  the  airy  cos- 
tume of  our  first  parents  was  always  to  be  seen 
drawing  water  for  the  camels,  hundreds  of  which 
were  crowding  around  to  drink.  When  the  camels 
had  finished,  the  flocks  came  up ;  it  was  a  curious 
sight  to  see  the  sheep  and  goats  taking  their  turns, 
a  few  goats  going  up  and  making  way  for  a  few 
sheep,  and  so  on  until  the  whole  flock  had  finished. 
A  little  farther  on,  is  the  Jisktyeh,  a  large  reservoir, 
with  an  aqueduct  leading  down  to  it  from  the 
wells.  The  aqueduct  is  on  the  north-east  side  of  the 
valley  ;  it  is  well  constructed  and  firmly  cemented ; 
the  channel  for  the  water  is  about  eighteen  inches 
wide  and  sixteen  deep,  and  built  on  huge  blocks 
of  stone,  which  support  it  from  below  and  give 


the  proper  level ;  above  it  is  a  row  of  huge  boulders, 
arranged  so  as  to  protect  it  from  the  falling  Jtbris 
and  torrents.     The  fisk&yeh,  or  reservoir,  is  built  of 
rather  roughly   dressed  but    squared  stones,   the 
courses  of  masonry,  which  are   eight  in   number, 
running  with  great  regularity  vertically  as  well  as 
horizontally.    It  has  been  originally  plastered  on 
the   inside  with  hard  cement,  some  of  which  still 
remains  on  the  walls.    Around  the  top  of  the  walls 
is  a  path  some  eighteen  inches  wide,  and  above 
this  are  two  more  courses  of  masonry.     The  earth 
outside   the  tank   has  been  piled  up  to  within 
three  feet  of  the  top,  and  the  remains  of  buttresses 
are  still  to  be  seen  around  it."  1     Writiog  of  the 
people    of    Hanein    (p.    365),   he    adds:    "There 
exists  an  old  tradition  among  them  that,  '  should 
a  sett  [flood   or   torrent]  once  come  down  Wddy 
Hanein,  there  would  be  an  end  to  all  prosperity 
in  the  land.'  .   .  .  The  tradition  evidently  dates 
from  ancient  times,  and  alludes  to  the  admirable 
art  with  which  the  valley  is  dammed  up,  or  rather 
laid  out  in  terraces  with   strong  embankments ; 
these  would  make  it  simply  impossible  for  any 
flood  to  rush  through  the  valley,  and  would  distri- 
bute the  waters  of  a  torrent  equally  over  the  sur- 

1  Palmer's  Desert  of  the  Exodus,  p.  362. 


faces  of  the  cultivated  terraces,  instead  of  allowing 
them  to  rush  unimpeded  down  to  the  sea,  as  they 
would  do  in  other  valleys  unprotected  by  such  art." 
All  the  valleys  here  mentioned  are  tributaries  of 
the  great  Nakhal  Mitzrdim  (or  Nafral),  the  Wddy 
el  Kebir  ("  Quadalquiver "),  or  great  stream  of 
Mitzraim,  now  known  as  the  W£djr  el  *Arish. 

Professor  Palmer  goes  on  to  say,  that  in  two  hours 
and  ten  minutes  from  Berein  they  reached  El  'Aujeh, 
where  they  encamped,  a  little  above  W£dy  Hanein, 
in  about  300  50'  north  latitude,  and  being  still 
about  forty  geographical  miles  south  of  Hebron, 
and  twenty-five  miles  north  of  Beersheba.     "  Now 
all  is  desert,  though  the  immense  numbers  of  walls 
and  terraces  show  how  extensively  cultivated  the 
valley  must  once  have  been.    Arab  tradition,  which 
calls  W£dy  Hanein  a  'valley  of  gardens/  is  un- 
doubtedly true   for    many  of   those    large,    flat, 
strongly-embanked  terraces  must  have  been  once 
planted  with  fruit-trees,  and  others  have  been  laid 
out  in  kitchen-gardens :  this  would  still  leave  many 
miles  for  the  cultivation  of  grain."  * 

My  own  experience  too,  in  my  passage  across 
the  desert,  between  the  heads  of  the  Gulfs  of  Akaba 
and  Suez,  has  convinced  me  that  the  destruction  of 

1  Palmer's  Desert  of  the  Exodus,  p.  366. 

wAd  Y  EL  'ARISH.  63 

the  trees  which  once  were  planted  there,  and  the 
consequent  aridity  of  the  country  has  reduced  it  to 
the  miserable  condition  in  which  it  now  is. 

The  time  was  when  the  Nakhal  Mitzraim,  the 
Brook  of  Mitzraim,1 — not  the  "  River  of  Egypt,"  as 
it  is  so  erroneously  translated,  and  now  known  as 
the  W&dy  el  'Arish, — was,  as  were  once  the  Paglione 
of  Nice,  the  Po,  the  Arno,  the  Tiber,  the  Sebeto,  and 
most  of  the  Italian  rivers,  a  full  perennial  stream, 
instead  of  being,  as  it  now  is,  a  dry  river-bed,  except 
at  the  momentary  period  when  it  is  an  impetuous 
torrent  carrying  away  every  atom  of  good  produc- 
tive soil,  and  overwhelming  and  destroying  every- 
thing it  meets  with  in  its  headlong  course. 

In  thus  speaking  of  the  Wddy  el  'Arish,  or 
Nakhal  Mitzraim,  I  wish  it  to  be  understood  that 
this  wddy,  or  one  of  its  branches,  and  not  the  Nile 
of  Egypt,  is  the  Ye6r  of  the  Biblical  Mitzraim,  on 
the  brink  of  which  the  infant  Moses  was  exposed,2 
and  the  water  of  which  was  turned  into  blood  *  by 
the  deliverer  of  the  Israelites. 

That  the  Hebrew  expression  "  Ye6r  "  cannot  mean 
the  Nile  may  be  proved  by  twofold  arguments.  In 
the  first  place,  it  is  the  Euphrates  that  is  styled 

1  In  "  Origines  Biblicse,"  p.  286,  I  conjectured  this  to  have  been 
the  W6dy  Ghazzo,  the  much  smaller  wddy  near  Gaza. 
*  Exod.  ii.  3.  s  Exod.  vii.  19. 


in  the  Pentateuch  "  the  great  river "  (tear  egoxnv), 
which  it  would  not  have  been  had  the  much 
larger  river,  the  Nile  of  Egypt,  been  known  to 
the  Israelites;  and  secondly,  we  find  it  stated  in 
the  account  of  the  first  of  the  "plagues  of  Mitz- 
raim "  that  "  the  Eternal  spake  unto  Moses,  Say 
unto  Aaron,  Take  thy  rod,  and  stretch  out  thine 
hand  upon  the  waters  of  Mitzraim,  upon  their 
streams  (naharothdm),  upon  their  river  (yeorehSm), 
and  upon  their  ponds  (agmehSm),  and  upon  all  their 
pools  (mikveh  memehSm)  of  water,  that  they  may 
become  blood ; " l  when,  if  the  words  "  nehar6th," 
"yeorfm,"  "agaramfm,"  and  "  mikveh  mayim,"  be 
considered  (which  it  would  seem  they  ought  to  be) 
as  placed  in  the  order  of  their  relative  importance, 
it  would  result  that  the  "ye6r"  must  be  looked 
upon  as  being  of  an  inferior  character  to  the 
"nah&r;"  and  seeing  that  "nahir"  is  from  its 
derivation  a  stream  or  natural  river  of  flowing 
water — from  nahdr,  "  to  flow  " — it  is  not  unlikely 
that  "ye6r"  may,  in  contradiction  to  "nah£r," 
mean  an  artificial  watercourse,  a  canal,  as  ap- 
parently it  does  in  Job  xxviii.  10.  Or  it  may 
mean  a  fountain,  or  perhaps  even  a  wddy  or 
"  winter-brook."   At  all  events,  as  there  were  several 

1  Exod.  vii.  19. 

ye6r  OF  MITZRAIM.  65 

ye6ra  (yeorim)  in  Mitzraim  and  elsewhere,  and  the 
expression  ye&r  is  subordinate  to  nahar, — the 
"  bahr  "  of  the  Arabs,  the  "  yc6r  "  of  Exodus,  can- 
not under  any  circumstances  be  their  Bahr  en  Nil 
— the  river  Nile,  which,  in  the  estimation  of  the 
natives  of  Egypt,  both  ancient  and  modern,  is 
without  its  equal  in  the  whole  world. 

On  an  impartial  consideration  of  the  whole  sub- 
ject, it  appears  to  be  certain  that  the  country  in 
which  the  yedr  of  Mitzraim l  was  situated  was  alto- 
gether beyond  the-  reach  of  the  Nilotic  inundations, 
not  merely  on  account  of  its  total  unfitness  for  the 
permanent  pasture  of  the  flocks  and  herds  of  the 
Israelites,  had  it  been  subject  to  be  periodically 
overflowed,  but  also  from  the  circumstance  that  had 
it  been  exposed  to  these  inundations,  the  descrip- 
tion given  of  it  in  the  Pentateuch,  and  the  marked 
distinction  made  between  Mitzraim  and  the  Land  of 
Canaan,  would  be  totally  inapplicable.  The  words 
are,  "  For  the  land,  whither  thou  goest  in  to  possess 
it,  is  not  as  the  land  of  Mitzraim,  from  whence  ye 
came  out,  where  thou  sowedst  thy  seed,  and  wateredst 
it  with  thy  foot,  as  a  garden  of  herbs :  but  the  land, 
whither  ye  go  to  possess  it,  is  a  land  of  hills  and 
valleys,  and  drinketh  water  of  the  rain  of  heaven  : 
a  land  which  the  Eternal  thy  God  careth  for ; " 2 — 

1  See  Origines  Biblicse,  pp.  288,  289.         8  Deut.  xi.  10-12. 



from  which  declaration  it  is  manifest  that  the  grand 
distinction  between  the  Promised  Land  and  the 
country  of  Mitzraim,  as  regarded  the  productions  of 
Nature,  was,  that  in  the  former  country  vegetation 
was  produced  by  natural  means,  that  is  to  say,  by 
"  the  rain  from  heaven,"  whereas  in  the  latter  it 
was  principally  by  artificial  irrigation, — by  the 
*  watering  with  the  foot ' — that  the  abundant  har- 
vests were  produced  which  caused  Mitzraim  to  be 
a  place  of  refuge  for  the  pastoral  people  of  the 
regions  to  the  north-east,  in  the  time  of  scarcity  to 
which  they  were  so  often  subject  from  a  deficiency 
of  water  in  their  own  country. 

The  discussion  of  the  subject  of  the  Yam  Suf,  or 
Red  Sea,  which  I  consider  to  be  the  Sea  of  Edom, 
or  Gulf  of  Akaba,  and  not  the  Gulf  of  Suez,1  had 
better  be  deferred  till  I  come  to  treat  of  my  voyage 
up  that  sea  in  the  steamer  "  Erin,"  so  kindly  placed 
at  my  disposal  for  that  purpose  by  his  Highness  the 
Khddive  of  Egypt. 

The  way  being  otherwise  thus  cleared,  we  may 
proceed  to  the  consideration  of  the  true  position  of 
Mount  Sinai. 

From   what   has   been    said   in   the   preceding 

1  See  Origines  Biblicce,  pp.  176-182;  also  Dr.  Beke's  "Mount 
Sinai  a  Volcano,"  p.  8,  published  1873. 


chapter,  it  is  manifest  that  there  is  no  tradition 
respecting  the  position  of  Mount  Sinai  on  which 
the  slightest  dependence  can  be  placed,  unless 
indeed  the  statements  of  the  Apostle  Paul  and  the 
historian  Josephus,  already  cited,  be  accepted  as 
indications  of  the  survival  to  their  days  of  the 
knowledge  that  that  mountain  was  situated  within 
the  Arabian  country  of  Midian  on  the  east  side  of 
the  valley  of  the  Jordan,  and  its  continuation  to 
the  Gulf  of  Akaba,  known  as  the  Ghor  and  W4dy 
Arabah ;  and  that  the  Biblical  Land  of  Midian  was 
part  of  the  "  East  Country  "  inhabited  by  the  de- 
scendants of  the  Patriarch  Abraham  by  Keturah l — 
that  is  to  say,  the  country  lying  to  the  east  of 
Jordan — is  a  truism  that  scarcely  stands  in  need  of 
proof.  The  position  of  Midian  is  thus  stated  in 
"  Origines  Biblicaa  : " 2 — "  It  is  known  that  the  dis- 
trict immediately  to  the  eastward  of  the  Dead  Sea 
and  of  the  Jordan  was  possessed  by  the  Moabites 
and  Ammonites,  the  descendants  of  Lot ;  and  as  the 
situation  of  the  country  of  the  Keturites  was  also 
east  of  Jordan,  these  latter  people,  of  whom  the 
Midianites  were  a  principal  branch,  must — so  far 
as  they  spread  themselves  southward, — necessarily 
have  had  their  territory  at  the  front,  or  to  the  east 

1  Gen.  xxv.  1-5.  2  Origines  Biblicw,  p.  190. 


of  the  country  of  the  children  of  Moab  and  Ammon. 
In  thus  extending  themselves  over  the  great  Syrian 
Desert,  as  far,  probably,  as  'the  great  river,  the 
river  Euphrates/  the  possessions  of  these  descen- 
dants of  Abraham  by  Keturah  would  have  ap- 
proached those  of  the  children  of  Ishmael,  who 
*  dwelt  from  Havilah  unto  Shur,  that  is  before 
Mitzraim,  as  thou  goest  toward  Assyria ; ' x  and  as 
these  two  people  were  of  common  origin,  we  can 
have  no  difficulty  in  conceiving  that  the  Midianites 
may  have  become  so  intermixed  and  even  amalga- 
mated with  the  Ishmaelites,  as  to  have  occasioned 
the  two  races  frequently  to  be  considered  as  one 
people.  That  such  was  actually  the  case  is,  indeed, 
evident  from  the  fact,  that  the  names  of  these  two 
people,  the  Ishmaelites  and  the  Midianites,  are  in 
two  instances  used  in  Scripture  as  convertible 
terms ;  the  one  instance  being  where  the  c  com- 
pany of  Ishmeelites/  to  whom  Joseph  was  sold  by 
his  brethren,  are  in  the  same  passage  also  described 
as  'Midianites/  c  merchant-men; ,2  and  the  other 
occurring  where  the  Midianites,  under  Zebah  and 
Zalmunna,  who  were  conquered  by  Gideon,  are 
mentioned  as  wearing  'golden  ear-rings,  because 
they  were  Ishmaelites/8  that  is  to  say,  Midianites." 

1  Gen.  xxv.  18.         *  Gen.  xxxvii.  25-28.  s  Judges  viii.  12-24. 


[In  support  of  this  hypothesis,  I  would  venture 
to  draw  attention  to  our  friend.  Captain  Richard 
Burton's  recent  discoveries  in  Midian.  I  think  I 
may  evidence,  as  a  remarkable  confirmation  of  Dr. 
Beke's  conclusion,  the  fact  that  Captain  Burton  has 
found  gold  there.  Following  in  the  footsteps  of  my 
lamented  husband,  he  made  an  expedition  at  the 
commencement  of  last  year  (1877)  to  the  Land  of 
Midian,  on  the  east  side  of  the  Gulf  of  Akaba  (which 
is  under  the  viceregal  rule  of  the  Khddive  of  Egypt) ; 
that  he  landed  at  Moilah,  on  the  east  coast  of  the 
Arabian  Gulf  (erroneously  called  "Red  Sea"),  at 
the  entrance  to  the  Gulf  of  Akaba,  or  "  Red  Sea ; " 
that  thence  he  proceeded  to  Aiuunah,  a  place  a 
little  farther  north — of  which  a  description  is  given 
by  Dr.  Beke  in  chapter  vii. ;  and  here  commenced 
those  explorations  which  resulted  in  the  following 
announcement  in  the  "Times"  of  the  14th  May 
1877  : — "From  Makna,  i.e.,  Midian  (Mugna  of  the 
maps),  the  capital  of  the  Land  of  Midian,1  up  to 
Akaba,  at  the  head  of  the  gulf,  Captain  Burton 
reports  the  country  as  auriferous,  and  he  believes 
the  district  southwards  as  far  as  Gebel  Hassani— a 
mountain  well  known  to  geographers — to  possess 
the  same  character.     He  even  goes  so  far  as  to  say 

1  For  illustration  of  Midian,  see  chapter  vii. 


he  has  brought  back  to  life  an  ancient  California." 
It  is  further  reported  by  Captain  Burton  that  the 
country  abounds  in  curious  w&dies ;  that  the  coast  is 
divided  from  the  interior  by  a  range  of  granite  and 
porphyry  mountains  running  about  parallel  with 
the  sea ;  but  water  has  worn  its  way  as  usual,  and 
these  gorges,  each  with  its  mountain  torrent,  occur 
at  frequent  intervals.  They  are  barren  rocky  places, 
with  no  possibility  of  much  culture,  and  yet  they 
all  bear  signs  of  abundant  population  in  times  gone 
by.  Large  towns,  built  not  of  mud,  as  Arab  towns 
often  are,  but  of  solid  masonry,  such  as  the  Romans 
always  used ;  roads  cut  in  the  rock,  aqueducts  five 
miles  long,  remains  of  massive  fortresses,  artificial 
lakes — all  signs  of  wealth.  That  the  rocks  are  full 
of  mineral  wealth.  Gold  and  silver  he  found  in 
great  quantities — the  quartz  and  chlorites  occurring 
with  gold  in  them  just  as  they  are  found  in  the  gold 
districts  of  South  America ;  evidences  of  turquoise 
mines ;  and  abundance  of  copper,  antimony,  and, 
indeed,  of  all  the  metals  mentioned  in  the  Books  of 
Numbers  and  in  Judges.  Thus  affording  a  most 
remarkable  confirmation  of  the  truth  of  the  Holy 
Record,  that,  "  among  the  spoils  brought  from  the 
Land  of  Midian  (Numb.  xxxi.  22,  50-54)  were  gold, 
silver,  brass,  tin,  iron,  lead,  and  jewels ; "  and  in 


another  expedition  (Judges  viiL  24-27)  that  the 
quantity  of  gold  taken  was  so  great  that  "  Gideon 
made  an  ephod  thereof,  and  put  it  in  his  city."  It  is 
a  curious  fact  (says  a  correspondent  of  the  "  Times," 
1 2th  November  1877)  that  these  mines  were  known 
to  the  anciente  so  long  ago  as  the  time  of  Eamses 
III.,  whose  cartouche  is  inscribed  on  the  Needle 
which  has  just  been  brought  to  England.  In  the 
Harris  Papyrus,  in  the  British  Museum,  the  Mow- 
ing  passage  occurs  (and  is  given  from  the  translation 
of  the  hieroglyphics) : — "  I,  Eamses,  have  sent  my 
commissioners  to  the  land  Akaba,  to  the  great 
mines  of  coppers  and  others  there,  and  their  ships 
were  loaded  with  coppers  and  others  (the  men) 
marching  on  their  asses.  Nobody  had  heard  since 
the  olden  kings  that  one  had  found  these  mines. 
The  cargoes  were  copper.  The  cargoes  were  by 
myriads ;  for  their  ships  which  went  from  there  to 
Egypt  arrived  happily.  Discharge  was  made  accord- 
ing to  order  under  the  pavilion  of  brick  of  the  Kings 
of  Thebes  of  the  copper,  numerous  as  frogs  in  the 
marsh,  in  quality  equal  to  gold  of  the  third  degree, 
admired  by  the  world  as  a  marvellous  thing." 

From  what  has  been  so  far  related,  it  may  with- 
out doubt  be  concluded  that  the  Midian,  which  Dr. 
Beke  discovered  in  1874  on  the  east  side  of  the 


Gulf  of  Akaba,  is  the  Midian  of  Moses's  father-in- 
law,  Jethro,  the  priest  of  Midian,  Dr.  Beke  hav- 
ing identified  "  Moses's  Place  of  Prayer  "  at  Midian 
(Mugna  of  the  maps)  with  the  "  Encampment  by 
the  Red  Sea  of  the  Israelites,"  and  Marghara 
Sho'eib,  or  "Jethro's  Cave"  (distant  half  a  day's 
journey),  also  with  the  "  Elim  "  of  the  Exodus. 

Apart  then  from  the  interest  generally  felt  in 
Captain  Burton's  explorations  now  being  made  in 
search  of  gold,  those  who  are  interested  in  the  far 
more  momentous  Biblical  subject,  will  look,  as  I 
do,  with  the  deepest  anxiety  for  the  particulars 
which  this  learned  and  experienced  traveller  can  so 
ably,  and  indeed  better  than  any  one  else,  furnish 
us  with,  of  this  hitherto  little  known  and  unexplored 
country.1 — Ed.] 

The  convertibility  of  the  two  terms  "  Midianites" 
and  "  Ishmaelites"  is  similar  to  that  at  the  pre- 
sent day  of  Britons  and  Englishmen, — Gauls  and 
Frenchmen.  The  Ishmaelites,  however,  would  ap- 
pear to  have  stretched  themselves  out  farther  to 
the  south  and  east  than  the  Midianites,  namely, 
towards  Havilah,  which  in  Genesis  x.  28,  29,  is 
joined  with  Sheba  and  Ophir,  these  three  countries 
having  been  all   noted  for   the   gold   which  they 

1  See  Capt  Barton's  forthcoming  work,  "  The  Gold  Mines  of  Midian." 


supplied  ;  and  hence  it  was  that  the  Ishmaelites 
obtained  the  "golden  earrings"  which  they  were 
accustomed  to  wear.1 

Some  curious  information  bearing  immediately 
on  this  subject  was  communicated  by  the  Rev. 
George  Williams  to  the  Section  of  Geography 
and  Ethnology,  at  the  Cambridge  Meeting  of  the 
British  Association,  on  October  7,  1862,  and  re- 
corded by  me  in  "A  Few  Words  with  Bishop 
Colenso ; " 2  on  the  subject  of  the  Exodus  of  the 
Israelites  and  the  position  of  Mount  Sinai,  pub- 
lished shortly  afterwards.  It  was  to  the  effect,  that 
there  is  a  tribe  of  Arabs  inhabiting  a  portion  of  the 
Arabian  Desert,  east  of  the  Ghor — that  is  to  say, 
in  the  direction  of  the  ancient  land  of  Midian — who 
are  described  as  being  much  superior  to  the  ordi- 
nary Bedouins,  and  in  several  respects  very  different 
from  them.8  They  profess  the  Israelitish  religion, 
and  declare  themselves  to  be  Ishmaelites  descended 
from  the  Rechabites,  "  the  children  of  the  Kenite, 
Moses's  father-in-law," 4  affirming  that  they  dwelt 
in  the  original  country  of  their  forefathers.     A 

1  The  position  of  Ophir  is  discussed  in  "  Origines  Biblicsa,"  pp. 
1 1 2-1 1 6,  and  in  u  The  Sources  of  the  Nile,"  pp.  60-65. 

*  Published  by  Williams  &  Norgate,  1862,  p.  1 1. 

3  Did  not  Captain  Burton  meet  with  them  on  his  journey  to 
Mecca?  4  Judges  i.  16,  i v.  11. 


peculiarity  of  this  relation,  which  was  at  that  time, 
as  it  is  now,  my  motive  for  directing  attention  to  it, 
is,  that  these  Bedouins  are  said  to  claim  to  be  both 
Ishmaelites  and  Rechabites  (that  is,  "  Midianites "), 
the  two  descents  being  adopted  by  them  apparently 
without  any  distinction  ;  in  which  fact  we  have  a 
pertinent  illustration  of  the  two  texts  of  Scripture 
adverted  to  above. 

The  situation  of  the  country  of  the  Midianites 
being  thus  approximative^  determined,  even  if 
not  absolutely  defined,  if  we  now  turn  to  the 
second  chapter  of  Exodus,  we  there  read  that, 
"  Moses  fled  from  the  face  of  Pharaoh,  and  dwelt 
in  the  land  of  Midian," l  that  is  to  say,  in  this 
"  East  Country,"  the  only  country  that  ever  rightly 
bore  that  name.  The  placing  of  the  Midian  into 
which  Moses  fled  within  the  mountainous  region 
on  the  west  side  of  the  Gulf  of  Akaba,  where  it  is 
actually  to  the  south  of  the  N^geb,  or  "South 
Country," 8  and  thus  making  it  appear  that  there 
were  at  one  and  the  same  time  two  countries  of  one 
and  the  same  name  on  the  two  opposite  sides  of 
the  Gulf  of  Akaba,  or  Eed  Sea,  is  one  of  the  ab- 
surdities which  have  been  caused  by  the  exigencies 
of  the  Egyptian  tradition,  which  had  placed  Mount 

1  Exod.  \L  15.  *  Gen.  xx.  1. 


Sinai  within  the  Peninsula  on  the  west  side  of  that 

We  further  read  that  whilst  dwelling  in  this 
land  of  Midian  in  the  "  East  Country,"  "  Moses 
kept  the  flock  of  Jethro,  his  father-in-law,  the 
priest  of  Midian  ;  and  he  led  the  flock  to  the  back 
side  of  the  desert, "  * — as  the  expression  is  usually 
rendered ;  but,  as  it  should  be  translated  in  its  pro- 
per geographical  sense,2  "  to  the  west  of  the  desert," 
— and  he  there  "came  to  the  Mount  of  God, 
Horeb,"  which  mountain,  consequently,  as  regards 
the  direction  from  the  dwelling  of  Jethro  in  Midian, 
whence  Moses  had  led  the  sheep,  would  be  on  that 
side  of  the  desert  which  is  nearest  to  Mitzraim,  or 
between  his  country  and  Midian. 

After  the  command  given  to  Moses  to  return  to 
Mitzraim,  he  first  "went  and  returned  to  Jethro, 
his  father-in-law,"8  in  Midian,  to  acquaint  him 
with  his  intended  departure,  and  then  he  "took 
his  wife  and  his  sons,  and  set  them  upon  an  ass, 
and  he  returned  to  the  land  of  Mitzraim."  4  And 
we  further  read  that  the  Eternal,  agreeably  to  the 

1  Exod.  iii.  1. 

*  The  Hebrews  express  "  east,"  "  west,*  "  north,"  aad  "  south," 
by  "  before,"  "  behind,"  "  left,"  and  "right"  according  to  their  bear- 
ing from  the  position  of  a  man  whose  face  is  turned  towards  the 
rising  sun.  *  Exod.  iv.  18.  4  Exod.  iv.  20. 


word  which  He  spake  to  Moses  at  Horeb,  said  to 
Aaron,  "  Go  into  the  wilderness  to  meet  Moses. 
And  he  went,  and  met  him  in  the  Mount  of  God."  * 
The  fact  here  undeniably  established  is  that  Moses, 
on  his  road  from  Midian  into  Mitzraim,  encountered 
Aaron,  who  was  coming  out  of  the  latter  country 
to  meet  him,  and  that  the  place  where  the  brothers 
met  was  "  the  Mount  of  God,"  the  identical  place 
"  to  the  west  side  of  the  desert,"  where  the  Eternal 
had  previously  appeared  to  Moses  "  in  a  flame  of 
fire  out  of  the  midst  of  a  bush." 2 

In  the  absence  of  all  reasons  to  the  contrary,  we 
are  justified,  therefore,  in  assuming — if  indeed  we 
are  not  bound  to  conclude — that  the  road  which 
was  taken  by  Moses  on  his  return  to  Mitzraim,  and 
on  which  he  was  thus  met  by  Aaron,  was  the  usual 
and  direct  road  between  the  two  countries ;  for  on 
no  other  road  would  they  have  had  a  chance  of 
encountering  one  another  without  a  special  direc- 
tion from  the  Almighty  as  to  the  course  they  were 
each  to  take ;  and  that  no  such  direction  was  given 
is  to  be  inferred  from  the  words  of  God  unto 
Moses,  having  been,  simply,  "  Is  not  Aaron  the 
Levite  thy  brother  ?  .  .  .  Behold,  he  cometh  forth 
to  meet  thee." 8     Consequently  it  is  in  the  direction 

1  Exod.  iv.  27.  *  Exod.  iii.  2.  8  Exod.  iv.  14. 

MO  UNT  SINAI,  "  HOREB. "  7  7 

of  this  highroad  between  Mitzraim  and  Midian  that 
we  have  to  look  for  the  precise  position  of  "  the 
Mount  of  God." 

It  may  be  well  here  to  touch  briefly  on  the  ques- 
tion as  to  whether  "  Horeb,  the  Mount  of  God,"  is 
the  same  as  "  Mount  Sinai "  on  which  the  Law  was 
delivered — not  that  any  real  difficulty  on  this  point 
presents  itself  to  my  own  mind,  but  because  of  the 
idea  entertained  by  many  persons  that  the  two  must 
be  different,  inasmuch  as  the  monkish  tradition, 
which  makes  Jebel  Musa  to  be  Sinai,  regards  as 
Horeb  the  rock  projecting  into  the  plain  of  Eahab, 
known  as  Ras  Sufs&feh.    But  the  utter  worthless- 
ness  of  the  tradition  having  been  shown,  any  argu- 
ment based  on  that  tradition  alone  cannot  but  be 
equally  valueless.     As  far  as  the  Scripture  narra- 
tive is  concerned,  Sinai  and  Horeb  appear  to  be 
synonymous  and  interchangeable  designations  of 
the  same  Holy  Place.    In  the  words  of  Jerome, 
"Mihi  autem  videtur  quod  duplice  nomine  mons 
nunc  Sina,  nunc  Choreb  vocetur."1 

The  country  to  the  east  of  the  meridian  of  the 
Jordan  and  of  the  Gulf  of  Akaba,  in  which  Mount 
Sinai  is  thus  shown  to  be  situated,  is  so  little  known, 
that  any  attempt  to  fix  with  precision  the  position 

1  De  Situ  et  Nominibus,  191. 


of  the  spot  where  the  Almighty  spake  with  His 
servant  Moses  in  the  sight  of  the  Children  of  Israel, 
must,  without  precise  local  information,  be  hardly 
better  than  mere  speculation. 

For  forty  years  past,  since  I  published  "  Origines 
Biblic»,"  I  have  from  time  to  time  speculated  on 
the  subject  in  various  publications,  of  which  the 
principal  ones  are  noted  at  foot ;  the  last  of  them, 
namely,  the  pamphlet  "  Mount  Sinai  a  Volcano," 1 
having  been  the  immediate  cause  of  the  journey 
which  I  undertook  towards  the  close  of  last  year 
(1873),  with  a  view  to  verify  the  conclusions 
at  which  I  had  arrived  in  that  pamphlet.  What 
success  has  attended  my  attempt  will  be  narrated 
in  chapters  vii.  and  viii. 

1 "  Mount  Sinai  a  Volcano,"  published  by  Tinsley  Brothers, 
1 873.  "  A  Few  Words  with  Bishop  Colenso,"  published  by  Williams 
&  Norgate,  1862.  "  On  the  Localities  of  Horeb,  Mount  Sinai,  and 
Midian,"  published  in  the  "British  Magazine,"  vol.  vii.,  June  1835. 
"On  the  Wanderings  of  the  Israelites  in  the  Desert,"  "Asiatic 
Journal,"  May  1838.  "On  the  Passage  of  the  Bed  Sea  by  the 
Israelites,"  "Asiatic  Journal,"  vol.  xxvi,  May  1838.  "  The  Idol  in 
Horeb,"  Tinsley  Brothers,  1871.  Mrs.  Beke's  "Jacob's  Flight," 
Longman 8  &  Co.,  1865,  &c. 

(     79     ) 




It  is  said  that  about  the  middle  of  the  third  cen- 
tury before  the  commencement  of  the  Christian  era, 
Manetho,  the  High  Priest  of  the  Temple  of  Isis  at 
Sebennytria,  in  Lower  Egypt,  was  commanded  by 
Ptolemy  Philadelphia,  the  second  sovereign  of  the 
Greek  Dynasty  of  the  LagidaB,  to  compose  in  the 
Greek  language  a  history  of  his  native  country 
from  the  sacred  records. 

The  Egyptian  scribe  is  represented  as  being  versed 
in  Greek  not  less  than  in  Egyptian  lore,  which 
might  well  be  the  case,  seeing  the  intercourse  that 
had  existed  between  Greece  and  Egypt  during  the 
four  centuries  which  had  elapsed  since  the  accession 
of  Psammitichus  in  665  B.C.  As  instances  of  this, 
and  also  to  serve  as  landmarks  of  the  interchange 
of  ideas  that  must  necessarily  have  taken  place 
between  the  two  nations  during  that  long  interval, 
it  may  be  mentioned  that  Solon  visited  Egypt  in 

*  Written  by  the  late  Dr.  Beke,  June  12,  1874. 


558  B.O.,  Thales  in  548  b.c.,  Hecataeus  in  520-475 
b.c,  Pythagoras  in  498,  and  Herodotus  in  413  B.c. 
It  has  long  been  the  habit  to  attribute  to  the 
Egyptians  an  amount  of  wisdom  far  exceeding  that 
of  any  other  nations  of  antiquity,  in  support  of 
which  notion  is  also  the  statement  in  1  Kings  iv.  30, 
that  "Solomon's  wisdom  excelled  the  wisdom  of 
all  the  children  of  the  east  country,  and  all  the 
wisdom  of  Mitzraim ;  "  but  this,  in  the  first  place,  is 
founded  on  the  assumption  that  "  Mitzraim  "  means 
"  Egypt,"  which  I  deny  ;  and  secondly,  this  wisdom 
of  one  man  is  placed  in  juxtaposition  with  the 
"  wisdom  of  the  children  of  the  east  country,"  and 
with  that  of  the  learned  men  named  in  the  follow- 
ing verse.1  "  For  he  was  wiser  than  all  men  ;  than 
Ethan  the  Ezrahite,  and  Heman,  and  Chalcol,  and 
Darda,  the  sons  of  Mahol :  and  his  fame  was  in 
all  nations  round  about ; "  so  that  in  reality  it  has 
no  specific  application.  That  an  inquisitive  tra- 
veller like  Herodotus  should  call  the  Egyptians  "  by 
far  the  best-instructed  people  with  whom  he  had 
become  acquainted,  since  they,  of  all  men,  store  up 
most  for  recollection,"2  is  just  such  a  remark  as  an 
European  traveller  of  the  present  day  might  make 
with  respect  to  the  Hindoos  or  Chinese. 

1  1  Kings  iv.  31.  f  Herodotus,  lib.  ii.  sect.  yy. 


And  on  the  other  hand,  we  may  well  imagine  a 
native  of  the  Celestial  Empire  to  address  an  "  out- 
side barbarian  "  in  words  similar  to  those  in  which, 
as  Plato  tells  us,  the  priests  of  Sais  apostrophised 
one  of  the  seven  sages  of  Greece  :  "  0  Solon,  Solon  I 
you  Greeks  are  but  children ;  in  Greece  there  does 
not  exist  an  old  man/'  I  may  even  appeal  to  my 
own  experience  in  Abyssinia,  where  the  longer  I 
resided,  and  the  more  I  became  acquainted  with 
the  language,  and  the  manners,  and  customs  of  the 
people,  the  more  learned  and  intelligent  I  was  con- 
sidered to  be ;  so  that  had  I  remained  long  enough 
among  those  semi-barbarians,  I  might  eventually 
have  expected  to  be  complimented  on  my  having 
become  as  wise  as  themselves. 

And  yet,  notwithstanding  this  self-conceit,  the 
sure  sign  of  real  ignorance,  we  may  rest  assured 
that,  like  as  the  Europeans  in  India,  China,  and 
Abyssinia,  the  Greeks  imported  into  Egypt  far 
more  real  knowledge  than  they  acquired  from  the 
natives  of  that  country. 

Without  raising  any  question  as  to  the  authen- 
ticity of  the  story  of  Manetho,  which  is,  however, 
similar  to  the  apocryphal  tale  of  the  origin  of  the 
Greek  version  of  the  Old  Testament,  said  to  have 

been  in  like  manner  made  by  order  of  Ptolemy 



Philadelphia,  by  seventy  -  two  learned  Jews  of 
Alexandria,  it  has  to  be  remarked  that  lists  of  the 
Sovereigns  of  Egypt  must  have  existed  long  before 
the  time  of  the  Ptolemies.  Herodotus,  who  visited 
that  country  more  than  a  century  and  a  half  be- 
fore the  date  attributed  to  Manetho,  relates  that : — 
"  When  the  part  cut  off  had  been  made  firm  land 
by  this  Menes,  who  was  first  king,  he  in  the  first 
place  built  on  it  the  city  that  is  now  called  Mem- 
phis. ...  In  the  next  place,  they  relate  that  he 
built  in  it  the  Temple  of  Vulcan.  .  .  .  After  this  the 
priests  enumerated  from  a  book  the  names  of  three 
hundred  and  thirty  other  kings.  In  so  many 
generations  of  men,  there  were  eighteen  Ethiopians 
and  one  native  queen,  the  rest  were  Egyptians."1 
And  he  goes  on  to  say :  *  "  Thus  much  of  the 
account  the  Egyptians  and  the  priests  related, 
showing  that  from  the  first  king  to  this  priest  of 
Vulcan  who  last  reigned,  were  three  hundred  forty 
and  one  generations  of  men ;  and  during  these 
generations,  there  were  the  same  number  of  chief 
priests  and  kings.  Now,  three  hundred  generations 
are  equal  to  ten  thousand  years,  for  three  gene- 
rations of  men  are  one  hundred  years  :  and  the 
forty-one  remaining  generations  that  were  over  the 

1  Cary'B  Translation  of  Herodotus,  Euterpe,  99,  100. 

*  Ibid.,  142,  143. 


three  hundred,  make  one  thousand  three  hundred 
and  forty  years  ...  In  former  time,  the  priests  of 
Jupiter  did  to  Hecataeus  the  historian,  when  he 
was  tracing  his  own  genealogy,  and  connecting  his 
family  with  a  god  in  the  sixteenth  degree,  the  same 
as  they  did  to  me,  though  I  did  not  trace  my  gene- 
alogy. Conducting  me  into  the  interior  of  an  edifice 
that  was  spacious,  and  showing  me  wooden  colossuses 
to  the  number  I  have  mentioned,  they  reckoned  them 
up ;  for  every  high  priest  places  an  image  of  him- 
self there  during  his  lifetime ;  the  priests,  therefore, 
reckoning  them  and  showing  them  to  me,  pointed 
out  that  each  was  the  son  of  his  own  father ;  going 
through  them  all,  from  the  image  of  him  that  died 
last,  until  they  had  pointed  them  all  out." 

Though  Josephus  tells  us  that  Manetho  "  finds 
great  fault  with  Herodotus  for  his  ignorance  and 
false  relations  of  Egyptian  affairs,"  *  which,  with  the 
faith  I  have  in  the  truthfulness  of  the  Halicamas- 
sian  traveller,  and  the  little  reliance  I  have  on  the 
statements  of  the  "  veracious  "  Jewish  historian,  and 
the  Egyptian  annalist,  I  am  inclined  to  accept  as  a 
testimonial  in  favour  of  Herodotus. 

This  alleged  work  of  Manetho  has  not  come  down 
to  our  days :  it  did  not  even  exist  in  the  time  of 
the  Jewish  historian  Josephus,  but  is  conjectured 

1  Contra  Apion,  lib.  i.  c.  14. 


to  have  perished  when  the  great  Alexandrian 
Library,  founded  by  the  same  Ptolemy,  was  de- 
stroyed by  fire,  "in  the  forty- seventh  year  before 
Christ. "  But  fragments  of  it  have  been  preserved 
by  Josephus  and  others,  and  lists  of  the  Sovereigns 
of  Egypt  from  the  time  of  Menes,  said  to  be  copied 
from  Manetho,  and  probably  obtained  from  other 
sources,  likewise  are  found  in  the  writings  of  sub- 
sequent authors,  of  whom  the  most  famous  are 
Eusebius,  Bishop  of  Caesarea,  in  the  fourth  century 
of  our  era,  and  the  Byzantine  monk,  Georgius 
Syncellus,  who  lived  five  centuries  later,  and  from 
whose  work  we  possess  the  fullest  list  of  the  various 
dynasties  of  the  sovereigns  of  Egypt  according  to 
Manetho,  which  he  professes  to  have  taken  from 
the  works  of  Julius  Apecarius,  Bishop  of  EmmaBus 
or  Nicopolis,  in  Judaea,  who  flourished  in  the  begin- 
ning of  the  third  century,  a.d.  250,  or  nearly  five 
centuries  after  Manetho  himself. 

Whatever  questions  may  have  existed  formerly 
as  to  the  genuineness  of  these  Manetho  dynasties, 
or  as  to  whether  some  of  them  at  least  ought  not 
to  be  considered  as  contemporaneous,  like  those  of 
the  kings  of  our  Saxon  Heptarchy,  these  Manetho- 
nic  dynasties  are  at  the  present  day  accepted  by 
most  Egyptologists  as  authentic  lists  of  one  conse- 
cutive scries  of  Sovereigns,  who  governed  that  coun- 


try  from  the  remotest  period  of  history ;  the  date 
of  the  accession  of  the  earliest  king,  Menes,  being 
placed  by  Bunsen  in  3059  B.C.,  by  Lepsius  in  3893 
B.C.,  and  by  Mariette  in  5005  b.c.  ;  and  the  authen- 
ticity of  these  lists,  notwithstanding  these  manifest 
discrepancies  respecting  their  commencement,  is 
affirmed  to  be  established  by  the  testimony  of  the 
hieroglyphical  inscriptions  on  the  monumental 
remains  of  Egypt,  aa  deciphered  according  to  the 
system  of  Champollion. 

Nevertheless,  it  is  a  singular  fact,  which  does  not 
appear  to  have  received  the  attention  that  it  so 
justly  deserves,  that  those  hieroglyphical  inscrip- 
tions, as  hitherto  interpreted,  are  far  from  agreeing 
with,  and  so  confirming,  the  Manethonic  lists.  This 
is  what  Mariette  Bey  himself  says  on  the  subject 
in  his  valuable  little  work,  "  Aper9u  de  PHistoire 
d'Egypte,"1  published  in  1872:  from  which  I  think 
it  right  to  make  the  following  extract.    Speaking 

of  the  principal  monuments  possessing  a  general 
historic  interest,  that  learned  Egyptologist  can- 
didly states  that  they  are  as  follows : — 

"  The  first  is  a  papyrus  preserved  in  the  Turin 
Museum,  to  which  it  was  sold  by  M.  Drovetti, 
Consul-General  for  France.     Were  this  papyrus  in- 

1  Alexandria,  Moures  &  Co.,  3d  edit,  1872,  p.  126* 


tact,  Egyptology  would  not  possess  a  more  precious 
monument ;  for  it  contains  a  list  of  all  the  mythical 
and  historical  personages  who  have  reigned  over 
Egypt  from  the  fabulous  ages  down  to  a  period 
which  we  cannot  estimate  because  we  do  not 
possess  the  latter  portion  of  the  papyrus.  This 
list,  which  was  composed  during  the  reign  of 
Ramses  II.,  one  of  the  best  epochs  of  Egyptian 
history,  has  all  the  signs  of  an  official  document ; 
and  it  would  be  of  the  greatest  assistance  to  us, 
inasmuch  as  each  royal  name  is  followed  by  the 
length  of  his  reign,  and  at  the  end  of  each  dynasty 
is  inserted  the  total  number  of  years  during  which 
that  dynasty  had  governed  the  affairs  of  Egypt. 
Unfortunately  the  carelessness  of  the  fellahs  who 
discovered  the  c  Royal  Papyrus  of  Turin?  and  the 
still  greater  carelessness  of  those  who  forwarded  it 
to  Europe,  have  dealt  it  the  most  fatal  blow,  and 
this  inestimable  treasure,  from  its  having  thus 
passed  through  unskilful  hands,  now  only  exists  in 
minute  fragments  (164  in  number),  which  for  the 
most  part  it  is  impossible  to  put  together.  Incom- 
parable in  value  as  it  would  be  were  it  entire,  the 
Turin  papyrus  has  thus  lost  all  credit,  and  it  is 
seldom  referred  to  in  works  treating  of  Egyptology. 
"  2.  Another  precious  monument  was  removed 


from  the  Temple  of  Earnak  by  M.  Prisse  and  pre- 
sented to  the  Imperial  Library  of  Paris.  This 
monument  consists  of  a  small  chamber,  on  the 
wails  of  which  is  represented  Thutmis  HI.  making 
offerings  before  the  images  of  sixty-one  of  his  pre- 
decessors ;  whence  it  is  called  the  *  Hall  of  the  An- 
cestors '  (Salle  des  Anc&tres).  But  here  we  have 
not  to  do  with  a  regular  uninterrupted  series ;  the 
monarch  has  made  a  choice  from  among  his  pre- 
decessors, and  to  them  alone  he  pays  homage. 
But  what  is  the  reason  for  this  choice  ?  At  first 
sight,  then,  the  Hall  of  the  Ancestors  can  only  be 
regarded  as  an  extract  from  the  royal  lists  of 
Egypt.  The  person  who  has  composed  this  list, 
from  motives  which  we  cannot  fathom,  has  taken 
here  and  there  some  names  of  kings,  sometimes 
accepting  an  entire  dynasty,  at  other  times  alto- 
gether passing  over  long  periods.  It  has  further 
to  be  remarked  that  the  artist  to  whom  was  confided 
the  embellishment  of  the  chamber  has  executed 
his  work  from  an  artistic  point  of  view,  without 
caring  to  place  his  figures  in  strictly  chronological 
order.  And  in  the  last  place,  it  must  be  mentioned 
that  some  lamentable  mutilations — twelve  names  of 
kings  are  wanting — have  partially  deprived  the 
Paris  list  of  its  importance.     Hence  it  results  that 


the  Hall  of  the  Ancestors  does  not  afford  to  science 
all  the  assistance  we  had  seemingly  a  right  to  expect 
from  it.  It  has  however  rendered  us  the  service  of 
determining  more  precisely  than  any  other  list  the 
names  borne  by  the  kings  of  the  thirteenth  dynasty. 
"  3.  The  Monument  called  the  Table  of  Abydos 

has  to  be  added  to  the  series  we  are  now  enume- 
rating. As  is  indicated  by  its  name,  this  monu- 
ment comes  from  Abydos,  whence  it  was  taken  by 
M.  Mimaut,  Consul-General  of  France,  and  it  is 

now  among  the  treasures  preserved  in  the  British 

"  In  the  whole  archaeology  of  Egypt  there  is  per- 
haps no  monument  more  celebrated  and  yet  so  little 
deserving  its  reputation.  It  is  here,  Ramses  II. 
who  is  paying  homage  to  his  ancestors.  Originally 
the  royal  cartouches  (not  including  those  of  the 
dedicator  himself  which  are  repeated  twenty-eight 
times),  were  fifty  in  number,  of  which  there  only 
remain  thirty,  more  or  less  complete.  Then,  the 
Table  of  Abydos,  like  the  Hall  of  the  Ancestors, 
offers  us  a  list  which  is  the  result  of  a  choice  in- 
spired by  motives  unknown  to  us.  There  is  also 
another  cause  which  detracts  from  the  scientific  value 
which  the  Table  of  Abydos  might  otherwise  possess : 
wc  have  not  its  commencement     After  the  eight- 



eenth  dynasty,  this  list  passes  without  transition  to 
the  twelfth  ;  but  to  what  dynasty  are  we  to  attach 
the  fourteen  unknown  cartouches  which  the  monu- 
ment places  above  the  twelfth  ?  Do  they  belong 
to  the  most  ancient  royal  families,  or  are  they  to  be 
used  for  filling  up  a  portion  of  the  monumental 
break  (vide)  which  we  find  between  the  sixth  and 
the  eleventh  ?  Consequently  the  Table  of  Abydos 
is  not  one  of  those  authorities,  such  as  the  Papyrus 
of  Turin  might  have  been,  which  serve  to  lay  a 
solid  foundation-stone  for  science.  No  doubt  when 
Egyptology  was  in  its  infancy  it  aided  Champollion 
in  his  classification  of  the  kings  of  the  eighteenth 
dynasty.  Later  on  it  served  Lepsius  as  a  repire 
to  place  the  Amenemhas  and  Ousertasens  in  their 
respective  orders,  and  thus  to  identify  these  Mon- 
archs  of  Manetho's  twelfth  dynasty.  But  that  is 
all,  and  it  is  not  likely  that  the  Table  of  Abydos 
will  ever  reveal  to  us  any  more  of  those  secrets 
which  so  powerfully  aid  our  studies."  And  in  a 
footnote  the  learned  author  adds  :  "  There  exist  at 
Abydos  two  temples  raised  to  the  local  divinity, 
the  first  by  Seti,  and  the  other  by  Ramses.  One 
and  the  same  series  of  kings,  twice  repeated  with- 
out any  change,  adorned  these  two  temples.  The 
one  is  the  '  Table  of  Abydos '  of  which  I  have  just 


spoken :  the  other  has  recently  been  discovered  by 
ourselves.  This  second  table,  which  is  the  proto- 
type of  the  one  in  London,  although  in  excellent 
preservation,  adds  very  little  to  our  knowledge.  It 
makes  known  to  us  some  new  names  of  kings ;  it 
confirms  the  dynastic  classification  of  some  others  ; 
but  it  is  still  far  from  giving  us  a  regular  and  con- 
secutive scries  of  all  the  Kings  who  have  reigned 
over  Egypt  from  Menes  down  to  Seti." 

"4.  The  most  complete  and  most  interesting 
monument  of  this  kind  that  we  possess  is  the  one 
resulting  from  our  excavations  at  Saqqarah  which 
now  forms  part  of  the  Boulak  Collection.  This  has 
not  a  royal  origin  as  the  others  have.  It  was  dis- 
covered in  the  tomb  of  an  Egyptian  priest,  named 
Tunar-%  who  lived  in  the  time  of  Ramses  II.  It 
was  a  point  of  Egyptian  belief  that  one  of  the 
privileges  reserved  for  the  dead  who  had  merited 
eternal  life  was  to  be  admitted  to  the  society  of 
the  kings.  Tunar-i  is  here  represented  as  entering 
into  the  august  assembly,  in  which  fifty-eight  kings 
are  present.  But  all  the  doubts  raised  by  the  Table 
of  Abydos  are  revived  here.  Why  these  fifty-eight 
kings  more  than  any  others  ?  As  long  as  this 
problem  remains  unsolved,  the  Table  of  Saqqarah 
can  only  possess  a  relative  value  for  science.     It 

V     * 


must,  however,  be  said  that  the  list  in  the  Boulak 
Museum  has  incontestable  advantages  over  all  the 
others.  In  the  first  place  we  know  its  commence- 
ment, and  thus  we  possess  a  fixed  jalon  at  the 
head  of  the  list :  secondly,  between  the  jalon  and 
the  termination  of  the  series,  may  be  added  here 
and  there,  by  means  of  cartouches  previously 
known  and  classified,  certain  other  intermediate 
jalons,  which  give  to  the  grand  outlines  of  the 
whole  a  precision  unknown  to  the  other  documents. 
By  this  means  it  is  that,  beyond  the  eighteenth,  the 
twelfth,  and  the  eleventh  dynasties,  we  reach  the 
six  earliest  dynasties,  which,  by  an  unlooked-for 
good  fortune,  we  find  on  this  Table  almost  as  com- 
plete as  they  are  in  Manetho.  The  Table  of  Saq- 
qarah  is  therefore,  at  all  events,  an  exceptional 
monument,  to  which  we  shall  presently  direct  all 
our  attention." 

"Such/*  says  the  learned  Egyptologist,  "are  the 
most  celebrated  Egyptian  monuments  which  possess 
a  general  interest  for  history;"  and  these  monu- 
ments, as  it  is  manifest  from  his  candid  avowal, 
do  not  agree  with  the  Manethonic  dynastic  lists. 
Why  then  are  we  to  accept  those  chronicles  of 
the  Ptolemaic  era,  which  have  come  down  to  us 
through  such  doubtful  channels,  in  preference  to 


the  contemporaneous  records  of  a  "  Ramses  II.,"  a 
"Thutmis  III./'  and  of  a  "Tunar-i  living  under 
Ramses  II."  ? 

M.  Mariette  adduces  the  lists  on  these  monu- 
ments as  proofs  of  the  truth  of  the  Manethonic 
lists.  "The  Table  of  Saqqarah,"  says  he,  "for- 
tunately comes  to  lend  its  support  to  the  Egyptian 
annalist.  That  table  being  only  able  to  give  us  a 
choice  of  sovereigns,  we  must  not  expect  to  find  in 
it  all  the  names  that  Manetho  enumerates."  Ought 
it  not  rather  to  be  said  that  the  simple  fact  of 
our  not  finding  in  it  all  the  names  that  Manetho 
enumerates,  affords  a  convincing  proof  that  the 
Manethonic  dynastic  lists,  whatever  may  be  their 
real  value,  are  no  true  chronological  lists  of  the 
Sovereigns  of  Egypt  ? 

For  myself,  I  am  assuredly  disposed  to  give  far 
more  credence  to  the  monuments  of  those  early 

periods  themselves  than  to  the  statements  of  the 
scribe  of  Sebcnnytris,  whose  writings,  penned  one 
thousand  years  after  the  assumed  date  of  those 
monuments,  have  themselves  only  been  handed 
down  to  us  by  a  Byzantine  monk  who  lived  an- 
other thousand  years  after  Manetho  himself. 

My  object  in  thus  adverting  to  the  general  sub- 
ject of  the  history  of  Ancient  Egypt,  in  which  I 


should  not  otherwise  have  any  special  interest, 
is  to  show  how  little  dependence  is  to  be  placed 
on  the  views  generally  entertained  respecting  the 
absolute  character  of  that  history  and  its  chronology 
as  opposed  to  those  of  the  Hebrew  Scriptures,  and 
that  the  date  of  5005  B.O.,  of  3893  b.c,  or  even  of 
3059  B.a,  for  the  commencement  of  the  reign  of 
Menes,  the  founder  of  the  Egyptian  Monarchy,  ought 
by  no  means  to  be  taken  as  irrevocably  established. 
The  monuments  of  the  country  themselves  must 
always  perform  a  highly  important  part  in  the 
reconstruction  of  its  history.  Those  of  the  so- 
called  Hyksos  or  Shepherd  Kings,  discovered  by 
M.  Mariette,  have  already  thrown  an  intense  light 
on  that  portion  of  it  which  is  contemporaneous 
with  the  history  of  the  Hebrew  Pentateuch.  The 
opinion  advanced  by  me  in  my  <«  Origines  Biblica, " 
forty  years  ago,  that  the  Mitzraim  of  Scripture  is 
not  the  Egypt  of  Profane  History,  is  now  shown 
to  be  substantially  true ;  namely,  that  the  Mitzrites 
—of  whose  Sovereign  the  Patriarch  Joseph  was  the 
Minister,  under  whom  the  Israelites  were  in  bond- 
age, and  from  whose  hands  they  were  liberated  by 
their  inspired  leader  and  legislator  Moses — were  not 
Egyptians,  but  a  people  of  foreign  extraction,  of 
a  type  quite  different  from   the   Egyptians   both 


ancient  and  modern,  who  invaded  Egypt  from  the 
East,  and  held  rule  over  its  inhabitants  during  many 
centuries,  and  whose  descendants  exist  at  the  pre- 
sent  day  in  the  extreme  north-eastern  portion  of 
Lower  Egypt,  at  Menzaleh  and  San — supposed  to 
represent  the  ancient  Tanis  and  the  Zoan  of 

As  is  stated  in  a  pamphlet  "  A  Few  Words  with 
Bishop  Colenso  on  the  Subject  of  the  Exodus  of 
the  Israelites  and  the  Position  of  Mount  Sinai," 
published  towards  the  close  of  1862,  when  I  was 
in  Egypt  in  the  beginning  of  that  year  (January 
27th),  my  attention  was  directed  to  the  subject  of 
these  people  by  Dr.  Schnepp,  Secretary  of  the 
Egyptian  Institute  at  Alexandria,  who  also  referred 
me  to  an  article  by  M.  Mariette  in  the  "  Revue 
Archdologique "  for  February  1861,  giving  an  ac- 
count of  them,  and  describing  some  ancient  statues 
of  the  same  race  dug  up  by  him  in  that  locality.1 

I  was  then  on  my  way  back  from  Harran  with 

1  See  "  A  Few  Words  with  Bishop  Colenso,"  p.  13. 

These  statues  are  figured  in  the  "  Revue  Arch6ologique."  A  brief 
notice  of  them  is  given  in  the  "  Parthenon "  of  June  28,  1862. 
Some  of  the  physical  distinctions  between  the  Mitzrites  and  the 
Egyptians  were  indicated  by  me  in  a  paper  "  On  the  Complexion 
of  the  Ancient  Egyptians/'  published  in  the  <#  Transactions  of  the 
Royal  Society  of  Literature,"  vol.  iii.  pp.  143-152,  and  reprinted 
in  the  "Philosophical  Magazine,"  vol.  xi.  (1837), pp.  344-353. 


my  wife,  having  for  many  years  previously,  as  is 
related  in  my  pamphlet  "  Mount  Sinai  a  Volcano," 
paid  no  attention  whatever  to  the  object  of  the 
studies  of  my  youth.  But  the  instant  Dr.  Schnepp 
brought  these  interesting  facts  to  my  knowledge,  I 
at  once  perceived  and  explained  to  him  that  these 
stranger  people  must  be  the  representatives  of  the 
ancient  Mitzrites,  of  whose  existence  as  a  nation 
distinct  from  the  Egyptians,  into  whom  they  sub- 
sequently merged,  and  so  became  lost  as  a  separate 
people,  a  memorial,  independently  of  the  Hebrew 
Scriptures,  has  been  preserved  in  the  legendary 


history  of  the  Hyksos  or  Shepherd  Kings. 

The  account  given  by  Herodotus  of  the  cruelty 
of  the  builders  of  the  Pyramids  of  Ghizah,  Cheops, 
and  Chephren  has  been  imagined  to  allude  to  these 
Hyksos.  He  says,  "Thus  the  affliction  of  Egypt 
endured  for  the  space  of  one  hundred  and  six  years, 
during  the  whole  of  which  time  the  temples  were 
shut  up  and  never  opened.  The  Egyptians  so  detest 
the  memory  of  these  kings  that  they  do  not  much 
like  even  to  mention  their  names.  Hence  they  com- 
monly call  the  Pyramids  after  Philition,  a  shepherd 
who  at  that  time  fed  his  flocks  about  the  place."1 

In  a  note  on  this  passage  my  old  friend,  Sir 

1  Herodotus,  lib.  ii.  c  128,  Bawlinson's  Trans. 


Gardner  Wilkinson,4  remarks,  that  "  this  can  have 
no  connection  with  the  invasion  or  the  memory  of 
the  Shepherd  Kings,  at  least  as  founders  of  the 
Pyramids,  which  some  have  conjectured ;  for  these 
monuments  were  raised  long  before  the  rule  of  the 
Shepherd  Kings  in  Egypt ; "  and  Professor  Kawlin- 
son  goes  on  to  say,*  "  In  the  mind  of  the  Egyptians 
two  periods  of  oppression  may  have  gradually  come 
to  be  confounded,  and  they  may  have  ascribed 
to  the  tyranny  of  the  Shepherd  Kings  what  in 
reality  belonged  to  a  far  earlier  time  of  misrule. 
It  should  not  be  forgotten  that  the  Shepherds, 
whether  Philistines,  Hittites,  or  other  Scyths,  would 
at  any  rate  ...  be  regarded  by  the  Egyptians  as 
Philistines.  Hence,  perhaps,  the  name  of  Pelusium 
(Philistine-town),  applied  to  the  last  city  which 
they  held  in  Egypt." 

The  builders  of  the  Pyramids  are  considered  to 
have  been  monarchs  of  Manetho's  fourth  native 
dynasty.  But,  as  Professor  Owen  stated  at  the 
anniversary  dinner  of  the  Royal  Geographical 
Society,  on  May  24,  1869,  "  Ethnologically  we 
learn  from  sculptures  and  figures  of  the  second, 
third,  and  fourth  dynasties,  exhumed  by  Mariette, 

1  This  learned  Egyptologist's  decease   has  occurred  since  the 
above  was  written. 

2  Rawlinson's  Herodotus,  vol  ii.  p.  205  note. 


that  the  founders  of  such  governed  society  in  the 
fertile  soil  of  Egypt  were  certainly  not  African,  not 
Ethiopian,  but  Asiatic,  with  indications  of  a  more 
northern  origin  than  the  Assyrian  or  the  Hindoo ; " l 
that  is  to  say,  the  builders  of  the  Pyramids  were 
not  native  Egyptians,  but  an  exotic  race,  of  "  a  more 
northern  origin  than  the  Assyrian  or  Hindoo,"  who 
invaded  and  occupied  Lower  Egypt  long  before  the 
time  of  the  Hyksos  or  Shepherd  Kings. 

But  in  a  paper  on  the  Ethnology  of  Egypt,  read 
at  a  meeting  of  the  Anthropological  Institute  on 
June  the  9th  last,2  by  the  same  scholar  since  his 
return  from  Egypt,  it  was  asserted  that  the  study 
of  the  portrait  sculptures  discovered  by  Mariette 
Bey  "led  to  the  conclusion  that  three  distinct  types 
were  indicated:  first,  the  Primal  Egyptian  type, 
with  no  trace  either  of  Negro  op  Arab ;  secondly, 
the  type  of  the  conquering  Shepherd  Kings  or  Syro- 
Arabians,  which  is  exemplified  in  the  Abyssinian 
sculptures;  thirdly,  the  Nubian  Egyptian."  This 
statement  I  cannot  reconcile  with  the  same  scholar's 
exposition  made  five  years  previously,  unless  it  be 
that  the  "  Primal  Egyptians  "  were  an  "  Asiatic  " 
people,  with  indications  of  a  more  northern  origin 

1  See  Beke's  "  Idol  in  Horeb,"  p.  41. 
1  Proceedings  of  the  Anthropological  Society,  June  9,  1874. 



than  the  "Assyrian  or  the  Hindoo."  Doubtless 
when  the  paper  itself  is  printed  in  extenso  the 
matter  will  be  rendered  more  intelligible  than  it  is 
at  present. 

Keverting  to  the  history  of  the  Hyksos  or  Shep- 
herd Kings,  it  has  to  be  remarked  that  these  in- 
vaders of  Egypt  were  by  Josephus  imagined  to  be  the 
children  of  Israel,1  and  the  history  of  their  expulsion 
from  Egypt  to  be  only  another  version  of  that  of  the 
Exodus.  Nothing  can,  however,  be  more  erron- 
eous than  such  a  supposition ;  and  when  the  text 
of  the  Scripture  narrative  is  properly  translated  and 
understood,  it  will  be  manifest  that  the  history  of 
the  sojourn  of  the  children  of  Israel  in  Mitzraim 
and  among  the  Mitzrites  is  applicable  to  a  different 
country  and  a  different  people. 

It  has  already  been  shown 3  that  the  Mitzraim  of 
Scripture,  the  country  into  which  the  Patriarch 
Abram  went  down,  and  after  him  his  grandson 
Jacob  and  his  sons,  may  far  more  reasonably  be 
assumed  to  have  been  a  region  adjoining  the  Negeb 
or  South  Country  and  the  land  of  the  Philistines 
than  the  more  distant  Egypt  watered  by  the  river 
Nile.     That  the  inhabitants  of  that  country,  the 

1  Contra  Apion,  lib.  i.  cap.  26. 
*  Chap.  ii.  pp.  49-5 1  of  this  work. 


Mitzrites,  were  not  Egyptians,  may  be  shown  by 
the  following  considerations. 

The  invasion  of  the  Hyksos  or  Shepherds,  whose 
remains  have  also  been  exhumed  by  M.  Mariette, 
was  described  by  Professor  Owen,  on  the  occasion 
just  referred  to,  as  having  "  introduced  into  Egypt 
the  Arabian  blood." — He  now  calls  them  Syro- 
Arabians, — and  it  is  to  them  that  Egypt  was  in- 
debted for  the  horse,  as  a  beast  of  draught,  inas- 
much as  previously  to  this  Philistine  or  Arabian 
invasion  the  manifold  frescoes  on  the  tombs  of 
Egyptian  worthies  show  no  other  soliped  than  the 
ass.  The  dromedary,  he  added,  was  a  still  later 

But  we  find  numerous  passages  in  the  Hebrew 
Scriptures  wherein  mention  is  made  of  the  horse  in 
connection  with  the  former  country,1  and  we  also 
learn  therefrom  that  Mitzraim  was  from  the  earliest 
ages  famous  for  its  horses ; 9  whilst  at  a  later  date 
Solomon  had  those  animals  brought  from  thence ;  * 
and  in  the  reign  of  his  successor,  Shishak,  King  of 
Mitzraim,  came  up  against  Jerusalem  "  with  twelve 
hundred  chariots  and  threescore  thousand  horse- 
men ;  "4  and  as  regards  the  dromedary  ("camel  "), 

1  See  Gen.  1.  9 ;  Eiod.  xiv.  6-9,  &c. 
s  See  Deut.  xvii.  16.  8  1  Kings  x.  28,  29. 

4  2  Chron.  xii.  3. 


this  animal  was  perfectly  well  known  in  Mitzraim 

from  the  time  of  Abraham  and  Jacob.1 

Had  these  animals  been  known  in  Egypt  at  that 

early  period,  they  could  not  have   failed  to   be 

depicted  by  the  Egyptians  in   their  hieroglyphs 

and  frescoes,  on  which  are  represented  every  living 

creature  with  which  those  people  were  acquainted. 

It  is  therefore  the  veriest  truism  to  affirm  that 

Mitzraim,  the  country  which  possessed  horses  and 

dromedaries  from  the  time  of  the  Patriarchs,  cannot 

possibly  be  the  same  country  as  Egypt,  wherein 

those   animals  were   unknown  till  a  much  later 


We  have  now  to  read  the  Hebrew  Scriptures  upon 

the  assumption  that  the  inhabitants  of  Mitzraim, 

the  .country  into  which  "  Joseph  was  carried  by 

the  Midianites,  were  Hyksos  or  Shepherds,  and  not 

the  Egyptians,  as  is  usually  imagined. a    In  the  first 

place,  we  read 8  that  Joseph  was  brought  down  to 

Mitzraim,    and  Potiphar,  an   officer  of  Pharaoh, 

captain  of  the  guard,  a  Mitzrite,  bought  him  of  the 

hands  of  the  Ishmeelites,  which  had  brought  him 

1  Gen.  xii.  16,  xxxviL  25.  This  argument  respecting  the  early 
existence  of  the  horse  and  dromedary  in  Mitzraim,  and  their  non- 
existence in  Egypt,  was  employed  by  me  in  "  Origines  Biblicse,"  pp. 
200, 273,  and  "Vertheidigung  gegen  Dr.  Paulus"  (Leipz.  1836),  p.  48. 

1  Mitzraim  and  Phiiistim,  Manetho,  Muces ! ! 

3  Qen.  xxxix.  1. 


down  thither."  On  this  text  the  objection  has  been 
raised  by  Professor  Lepsius  that  *  "  here,  as  in  all 
other  passages  where  the  *  Egyptian '  King  is  men- 
tioned, he  is  called  Pharaoh : "  and  he  adds,  that, 
"  This  is  an  Egyptian  designation,  and  not  a 
Semitic  one,  as  we  should  have  expected  if  the 
Semitic  Hyksos  had  still  ruled  in  'Egypt/  In 
that  case  we  should  have  been  everywhere  com- 
pelled to  admit,  in  this  designation,  throughout 
the  history  of  Abraham,  Jacob,  Joseph,  and  Moses, 
an  anachronism  which  cannot  easily  find  a  par- 
allel" Yet  nothing  is  easier  than  to  find  such  a 
seeming  anachronism  right  before  our  eyes  at  the 
present  day. 

Shortly  before  the  commencement  of  the  Chris- 
tian era  the  Celtic  country  of  Gallia  or  Gaul  was 
invaded,  overrun,  subjugated,  and  colonised  by  the 
Romans,  from  whom  it  received  its  institutions, 
its  language,  and  pagan  religion.  Nearly  five  cen- 
turies after  its  conquest  by  Julius  Caesar,  Gallia 
was  invaded  by  the  German  tribe  of  Franks  under 
Phoramond,  who  took  the  place  of  the  Romans, 
so  that  the  Greek  historian  Procopius,  writing  in 
A.D.  550,  could  say  of  them,2  "the  Franks  are  on 

1  See  Professor  Lepeius's  "  Letters  from  Egypt,  Ethiopia,  and 
Mount  Sinai,"  p.  476. 
1  De  Bello  Vandalico,  i.  3. 


the  frontiers  of  Italy ;  they  were  formerly  called 
Germans/' — who  founded  a  monarchy,  which,  under 
various  changes  and  several  dynasties,  may  be  said 
to  have  subsisted  down  to  this  day.  But  all  these 
dynasties  have  been  not  of  Gallic,  but  of  German 
extraction ;  whether  the  Merovingians,  under  whose 
rule  Pagan  Gaul  became  Christian  France,  the 
Carlovingians,  who  raised  France  to  the  highest 
rank  in  Western  Christendom,  or  the  Capetin- 
gians,  descendants  of  Count  Robert  the  Strong,  the 
Maccabaeus  of  the  West  Frankish  realm,  the  patri- 
arch of  the  old  Capets,  of  the  Valois,  and  of  the 
Bourbons.1  And  so  completely  and  incessantly  do 
the  descendants  of  the  Frankish  invaders  of  Gaul 
bear  testimony  to  their  German  origin,  that  nine- 
teen French  sovereigns  have  been  named  Louis, 
ten  Charles,  four  Henry,  and  two  Robert,  all  which 
honoured  names,  as  is  patent,  are  corrupted  forms 
of  the  hated  "  barbarian "  German  designations 
Ludwig,  Carl,  Heinrich,  and  Rothbart.  And  it  is 
a  curious  fact  that  at  the  present  day  the  three 
aspirants  to  the  throne  of  France  all  bear  German 
names — Henri  (Heinrich),  Comte  de  Chambord; 
Robert  (Rothbart),  Comte  de  Paris ;  and  Louis 
(Ludwig)   Napoleon.      The   origin   of  Robert  the 

1  See  Freeman's  Historical  Essays,  p.  222. 


Strong  is  discussed  by  M.  Mourin,  and  more  fully 
by  Dr.  Kalckstein  in  his  first  Excursus.  He  was 
the  son  of  the  Saxon  Wittikind,  and  the  father  of 
Odo,  Count  of  Paris,  whose  son  was  Hugh  Capet. 
Mr.  Freeman  tersely  says,  "  The  Count  of  Paris  was 
merged  in  the  Duke  of  the  French,  and  the  Duke 
of  the  French  was  soon  merged  in  the  King." 

This,  then,  is  sufficient  answer  to  the  argument 
that,  whatever  may  be  our  belief  on  other  grounds,1 
it  would  be  impossible  to  combine  with  it  the  cir- 
cumstance that  Joseph  received  from  Pharaoh  an 
"Egyptian"  name.  The  like  may  be  said  with 
respect  to  the  other  "Egyptian"  proper  names 
occurring  in  the  Hebrew  Scriptures,  such  as 
"Pharaoh,"  "Eameses,"  "Pithom,"  "Asemeth," 
"  Potiphorah,"  as  having  been  used  in  Mitzraim. 

Dr.  Lepsius  next  objects,  that  when  the  sons  of 
Jacob  spoke  among  themselves  in  the  presence  of 
Joseph  of  their  conduct  towards  him,  they  spoke 
out  loud  in  his  presence ;  and  that  "  they  knew  not 
that  Joseph  understood  them;  for  he  spake  unto 
them  by  an  interpreter."  *  And  hence  he  argues 
that  "  Joseph  had  become  so  completely  an  Egyp- 
tian, and  the  Egyptian  language  was  so  exclusively 
spoken  at  the  court  of  Pharaoh,  that  the  brethren 

1  Lepsius's  Letters,  p.  478.  *  Gen.  xlii.  23. 


could  not  conjecture  any  one  was  near  them  who 
understood  their  language." l  But,  as  it  is  replied 
in  m)r  "Origines  Biblicae,"  in  answer  to  the  same 
objection  on  the  part  of  other  commentators  ;*  "  the 
fact,  appears  to  have  been  overlooked,  that  although 
Joseph's  brethren  knew  not  that  he  understood  or 
overheard  them,  because  the  melitz  (the  interpreter  or 
officer)  was  between  them,  yet  as  there  is  nothing 
in  the  Scriptural  statement  to  lead  to  the  sup- 
position that  they  spoke  entirely  apart  from  Joseph 
and  the  melitz,  the  latter  individual  it  is  evident 
must  have  both  overheard  and  understood  them, 
and  they  must  consequently  have  been  fully  aware 
that  by  his  report  Joseph  might  be  made  acquainted 
with  what  they  said,  just  in  the  same  way  as  if  he 
himself  overheard  them.  Is  not  the  following,  how- 
ever,' the  proper  explanation  of  the  transaction? 
Joseph,  having  resided  in  Mitzraim  above  twenty 
years,  and  having  become  a  naturalised  Mitzrite, 
may  not  have  been  known  to  foreigners  otherwise 
than  in  the  character  of  a  native,  and  he  may 
indeed  have  been  desirous,  as  a  matter  of  policy, 
that  his  foreign  extraction  should  be  concealed. 
Hence  in  his  communications  with  his  brethren, 
who  came  before  him  as  natives  of  the  adjoining 

1  Lepsiua's  Letters,  p.  479.         2  Origines  Biblicra,  pp.  247,  248. 


country  of  the  Philistines,  he  may  have  thought  fit 
to  employ  an  interpreter  to  translate  their  rustic 
dialect  of  the  south  country  into  the  more  polished 
language  of  Mitzraim  Proper; — for  we  may  well 
imagine  that,  notwithstanding  the  common  origin 
and  closely  intimate  connection  of  the  two  tongues, 
they  may  each,  when  spoken,  have  been  as  unin- 
telligible to  the  natives  of  the  other  country,  as  we 
find  instanced  in  so  many  of  the  cognate  dialects 
of  Modern  Europe.  But  whilst  the  brothers  thus 
spoke  to  Joseph  through  the  interpreter  in  the 
language  of  the  south  country,  they  may  also  have 
conversed  among  themselves  in  the  Aramitish 
tongue  of  the  country  in  which  they  had  been 
born ;  and  as  they  may  have  had  reason  to  know 
that  the  interpreter  was  not  acquainted  with  that 
language,  so  neither  could  they  have  had  the 
slightest  ground  for  imagining  that  Joseph,  whom 
they  looked  upon  as  a  native  Mitzrite,  would  under- 
stand them, — since  even  for  the  purpose  of  commu- 
nicating with  them  in  their  adopted  language  of  the 
south  country  he  seemed  to  require  an  interpreter." 
Another  objection  is,  that  when,  on  their  second 
visit  to  Joseph's  house,  his  brethren  were  about  to 
take  their  meal,  it  is  said,  "  And  they  set  on  for 
him  by  himself,  and  for  them  by  themselves,  and 


for  the  '  Egyptians '  which  did  eat  with  him,  by 
themselves :  because  the  '  Egyptians '  might  not  eat 
bread  with  the  Hebrews ;  for  that  is  an  abomination 
unto  the  t  Egyptians.' "  1  On  which  the  learned 
Professor  remarks,  that  "  the  native  Egyptians 
could  never  have  expressed  this  horror  and  regu- 
lated  their  manners  accordingly,  under  the  dominion 
of  a  Semetic  reigning  family " — that  is  to  say, 
during  the  sovereignty  of  the  Hyksos  or  Shepherd 
Bangs.  And  he  further  objects  that  "  it  is  equally 
improbable  that  Joseph  would  have  advised  the 
immigrating  family  to  call  themselves  shepherds  in 
order  to  obtain  from  Pharaoh  a  country  set  apart 
for  themselves.  '  And  it  shall  come  to  pass,  when 
Pharaoh  shall  call  you,  and  shall  say,  What  is  your 
occupation  ?  That  ye  shall  say,  Thy  servants'  trade 
hath  been  about  cattle  from  our  youth  even  until 
now,  both  we  and  also  our  fathers  :  that  ye  may 
dwell  in  the  land  of  Goshen ;  for  every  shepherd 
is  an  abomination  unto  the  "  Egyptians/1 '  *  If  the 
Shepherd  people  of  the  Hyksos  reigned  in  Egypt, 
how  could  the  shepherds  have  been  an  abomination 
to  them?"8 

This  is  precisely  the  question  I  myself  asked  long 

1  Gen.  xliii.  32.  8  Gen.  xlvi.  33,  34. 

3  Lepsius's  Letters,  p.  479. 

1  TO 'EBAH*  NOT  '  ABOMINATION:  107 

ago  ;  and  have  myself  answered  on  more  than  one 
occasion,  by  showing  that  the  word  "  abomination  n 
used  in  this  and  in  other  passages  in  the  Pentateuch, 
and  elsewhere,  is  a  mistranslation  of  the  Hebrew 
word  rQjnn  (toebah). 

The  word  in  question  is  derived  from  the  root 
ny/l  [ta'afe],  of  which  Gesenius  says  in  his  Lexi- 
con (edit.  Robinson,  1855),  'the  primary  idea 
seems  to  be  to  thrust  forth  or  away,  to  drive 
away,  and  hence  to  reject,  to  abhor,  to  abomi- 
nate;9 comparing  it,  however,  with  2X1)  [taab^ 
to  which  he  gives  the  double  meaning  of  'to 
desire,  to  long  after/  and  'to  abominate,  to 

But  I  conceive  that  the  two  roots  are,  in  fact, 
identical — the  gutteral  y  in  the  one  being  softened 
into  N  in  the  other — and  that  their  primary  mean- 
ing is  not  to  thrust  forth  or  away  in  a  bad  sense 
alone,  but  indefinitely  to  put  away  or  aside,  to 
set  apart,  to  separate,  either  in  a  good  or  in  a  bad 
sense,  and  hence  to  dedicate  or  consecrate,  and  this 
too  either  for  a  good  or  for  a  bad  purpose,  as  is  so 
remarkably  the  case  with  the  root  Wlp  [kadash"]. 

The  Greek  dpdOefm,  the  Latin  sacer,  the  French 
sacri,  and  even  the  English  sacred  and  devoted, 
have  all  this   double    meaning    and    application. 


These  last  two  words  are  thus  used  together  in  a 
bad  sense  by  Milton  : 

«  But  to  destruction  sacred  and  devote.1 

Paradise  Lost,  iii.  208. 

Consequently  the  primary  meaning  of  the  Hebrew 
noun-substantive  to'ebah  is  a  'person  or  thing  set 
apart,'  belonging  to  a  distinct  class,  and  thus  ap- 
propriated  or  dedicated  to  some  special  purpose, 
religious  or  otherwise;  and  when  the  expression 
came  to  acquire  a  more  definite  meaning,  either  in 
a  good  or  a  bad  sense,  the  context  was  in  each  case 
sufficient  to  determine  in  which  of  those  senses  it 
was  employed.  The  taboo  of  the  South- Sea  Islanders 
offers  an  exact  parallel.  It  is  taboo  for  the  two 
sexes  to  eat  together,  just  as  it  was  to'ebah  for  the 
Mitzrites  to  eat  with  strangers  (Gen.  xliiL  32) ; 
and  in  like  manner  many  persons,  animals,  and 
things  are  taboo,1  as  shepherds  and  goatherds,  and 
their  flocks  were  to'ebah.  The  resemblance  of  the 
two  words  to'ebah  and  taboo9  I  look  on,  however,  as 
purely  accidental.  There  is  no  sufficient  reason  to 
suppose  the  one  to  be  derived  from  the  other. 

The  following  note  is  made  in  Gesenius's  Lexi- 
con on  the  word  rQN,  the  meaning  of  which  is  to 

1  See  note  on  Exodus  xiiL  2,  Bagster's  Compr.  Bible,  and  see 
the  Greek  dyi&fa. 


be  witting,  inclined,  to  desire: — 'In  Arabic  this 
verb  has  the  sense  to  be  unwilling,  to  refuse,  to 
loathe,  corresponding  to  the  Hebrew  i"QN  *6.  But 
this  must  not  be  regarded  as  a  contrary  significa- 
tion ;  since  the  idea  of  inclining,  which  in  Hebrew 
implies  towards  any  one,  expressing  good- will,  in 
German  Zuneigung,  is  in  Arabic  merely  referred 
to  the  opposite  direction,  i.e.,  from  or  against  any 
one,  expressing  ill-will,  in  German  Abneigung,  i.e., 
aversion,  loathing/ 

When,  therefore,  Joseph  told  his  brethren  to  say 
to  Pharaoh,  '  Thy  servants'  trade  hath  been  about 
cattle/  he  did  so  not  because  every  shepherd  was 
"  an  abomination  "  unto  the  Mitzrites,  which  would 
have  been  an  absurdity,  but  because  among  these 
people  the  shepherds  formed  a  respected  separate 
class — were  taboo — were  '  high  caste/  as  the  Brah- 
mins are  in  India. 

In  fact,  there  ought  not  to  be  any  doubt  as  to 
the  signification  of  the  word.  If  the  narrative  of 
Joseph's  presentation  of  his  father  and  brethren  to 
the  King  of  Mitzraim  be  only  regarded  from  a 
plain,  common-sense  point  of  view,  independently 
of  its  traditional  interpretation,  it  must  convince 
even  the  most  sceptical  that  the  expression  in  ques- 
tion has  been  wrongly  translated. 


The  Hebrew  slave  Joseph,  who  has  become  the 
favourite  Minister  and  Viceroy  of  the  King  of 
Mitzraim,  causes  his  father  and  brethren  to  join 
him  in  the  country  of  his  adoption.  Before  intro- 
ducing them  to  his  sovereign,  he  tells  them  that  he 
shall  represent  them  to  him  as  shepherds ;  and  he 
desires  them,  when  questioned,  to  confirm  his  state- 
ment. The  reason  he  gives  for  this  is,  that  among 
the  Mitzrites  '  every  shepherd  is  to'ebah.'  I  know 
not  how  to  translate  this  expression  into  English 
so  as  to  retain  the  double  meaning  of  the  original ; 
but  it  may  be  rendered  in  Latin  omnis  pastor  est 
sacer,  and  in  French  tout  pasteur  est  sacri. 
Joseph's  family  do  as  they  are  directed.  The  King 
receives  them  most  graciously,  and  says  to  his 
Minister :  '  Thy  father  and  thy  brethren  are  come 
unto  thee.  The  land  of  Mitzraim  is  before  thee.  In 
the  best  of  the  land  make  thy  father  and  brethren 
to  dwell ;  in  the  land  of  Goshen  let  them  dwell. 
And  if  thou  knowest  any  men  of  activity  among 
them,  then  make  them  rulers  over  my  cattle.' x 

Now  if  the  word  toebah  meant  can  abomina- 
tion/ in  like  manner  as  the  Latin  sacer  and  the 
French  sacrt  might  be  understood  to  mean  i  ac- 
cursed,' and  if  the  fact  were  that  the  Mitzrites 

1  Gen.  xlvii.  5,  6. 


'  held  shepherds  in  the  utmost  contempt '  (which, 
however,  is  merely  an  assumption  consequent  on 
the  received  translation),  is  it  consistent,  is  it  at 
at  all  probable,  is  it  indeed  possible,  morally  speak- 
ing, that  Joseph  should  so  expressly,  and  seem- 
ingly so  unnecessarily,  have  desired  his  father  and 
brethren  to  volunteer  the  avowal  that  they  be- 
longed to  that  despised  and  detested  class  ?  And 
would  the  King  have  treated  the  nearest  relatives 
of  his  favourite  Minister  in  so  contemptuous,  so 
abominable  a  manner,  and  so  disgraced  that  Minis- 
ter himself,  as  to  employ  them  in  such  a  degraded 
occupation  ? 

But  if  the  expression  in  question  has  the  mean- 
ing for  which  I  contend,  in  like  manner  as  the 
Latin  saeer  and  the  French  sacrS  may  mean 
1  sacred,9 — if  shepherds  were  a  respected,  separate, 
even  if  not  sacred,  class  among  the  Mitzrites,  were 
freemen,  gentlemen,  or  nobles,  according  to  our 
modern  ideas,  then  the  whole  transaction  becomes 
natural,  consistent,  and  intelligible.  Joseph  de- 
signedly represented  the  occupation  of  his  family 
to  be  such  as  would  qualify  them  for  admission 
into  a  select  and  superior  class  among  the  natives 
of  the  country,  and  the  Monarch  on  his  Minister's 
representation  unhesitatingly  recognised  their  right 


1 1 2  DISCO  VER  Y  OF  MO  UNT  SINAI. 

of  admission ;  and,  further,  in  order  to  manifest 
his  esteem  for  them,  and  to  do  them  and  his 
favourite  himself  the  greater  honour,  he  at  once 
appointed  some  of  them  to  have  the  charge  of  his 
own  cattle,  not  as  mere  herdsmen,  but  in  some 
such  capacity  as  we  may  imagine  to  be  equivalent 
to  rangers  of  the  royal  parks  and  forests  with  us. 

Accepting  this  as  being  the  meaning  of  the  word 
to'ebah,  and  as  establishing  the  fact  that  in  the 
time  of  Joseph  shepherds  formed  a  select  and  supe- 
rior class  in  charge  of  the  '  sacred '  animals  of  the 
Mitzrites,  we  may  understand  how,  at  the  subse- 
quent period  of  the  Exodus,  when  Pharaoh  ordered 
the  Israelites  to  sacrifice  "in  the  land," Moses  said,1 
"It  is  not  meet  so  to  do;  for  we  shall  sacrifice 
the  sacred  animal  [T  animal  sacrS,  not  le  sacrS 
animal]  of  the  Mitzrites  to  Jehovah  our  God :  lo, 
shall  we  sacrifice  the  sacred  animal  of  the  Mitzrites 
before  their  eyes,  and  will  they  not  stone  us  ? " 
The  meaning  of  which  indisputably  is,  that  the 
animal  which  the  Israelitish  leader  purposed  sac- 
rificing— namely,  a  "  lamb,  ...  a  male  of  the  first 
year,  .  .  .  taken  out  from  the  sheep  or  from  the 
goats," 2 — was  an  object  of  special  care  and  regard, 
even  if  not  of  worship,  among  the  Mitzrites,  under 

1  Exod.  viil  25,  26.  *  Exod.  xii.  3-5. 


the  charge  of  a  separate  class  of  men ;  sheep  and 
goats  being  taboo,  like  their  keepers. 

That  at  that  early  period  these  '  sacred '  animals 
were  actually  adored  or  worshipped  by  the  Mitzrites 
may,  however,  be  doubted.  There  is  nothing  in  the 
Scripture  history  to  warrant  such  an  assumption, 
or  even  the  belief  that  the  Mitzrites  were  wor- 
shippers of  animals  or  idolaters,  like  the  ancient 
Egyptians.1  [In  a  paper  on  the  "  Prometheus  "  of 
iEschylus,  priuted  in  the  "  Transactions  of  the  Royal 
Society  of  Literature,"  vol.  ii.  (xviii.)  p.  385,  Sir  E. 
Coleridge  unqualifiedly  expresses  the  same  opinion.] 
And  therefore  all  that  we  are  justified  in  concluding, 
and  it  is  sufficient  for  the  present  purpose,  is,  that 
among  the  Mitzrites,  Hyksos,  or  Shepherd  Kings, 
shepherds  and  their  flocks  were,  as  is  most  natural, 
objects  of  regard  and  reverence,2  and  not  *  an 
abomination/  as  the  word  to'ebah  has  been  so 
erroneously  supposed  to  mean. 

The  statement  recently  made  by  Mr.  Petherick, 
formerly  British  Consul  at  Khartum,  respecting  the 
regard  in  which  the  Dinkas  tribes  on  the  Upper 
Nile  hold  their  cattle,  is  illustrative  of  what  I  con- 
ceive the  custom  of  the  Mitzrites  to  have  been. 

1  See  Origines  Biblicse,  p.  305. 

*  In  the  »'  Times"  of  the  25th  inst.  it  is  asserted  that  the  volcano 
of  Tongariro  is  regarded  by  the  Maoris  as  tapu,  or  "  sacred." 


1 1 4  DISCO  VER  Y  OF  MO  UNT  SINAI. 

Colonel  Grant  having  attributed  the  superior 
physique  of  the  Dinkas  to  that  of  the  Shilluks  to 
the  fact  of  their  "fattening  themselves  on  their 
herds,"  Mr,  Petherick  replied,  that  though  both 
tribes  possess  enormous  herds  of  cattle,  it  is  well 
known  that  "neither  tribe  will  kill  one  of  their 
herd  for  consumption.  They  will  eat  them  after 
death  from  accident  or  natural  causes,  but  will 
not  kill  them  for  food,  no  matter  to  what  extremi- 
ties they  may  be  put  for  want  of  nutriment."  And 
as  an  instance  of  this,  Mr.  Petherick  relates  that 
while  travelling  through  the  Awan,  a  sub-Diuka 
tribe,  he  had  bought  a  bullock,  and  having  un- 
wittingly ordered  it  to  be  slaughtered  before  the 
Chief  and  his  followers  had  quitted  his  temporary 
camp,  he  stood  in  imminent  danger  of  an  attack 
from  the  tribe  for  having  insulted  and  degraded 
them  by  slaying  the  animal  in  their  presence.1 
Here  there  does  not  appear  to  be  any  idea  among 
the  Dinkas  of  worshipping  the  animals,  the  bodies 
of  which  they  do  not  scruple  to  eat  after  death 
from  accident  or  natural  causes ;  neither  can  they 
regard  their  lives  as  sacred,  inasmuch  as  they  sold 
one  to  Mr.  Petherick  ;  but  on  his  unwittingly  hap- 
pening to  slaughter  the  animal  in  their  presence  he 
exposed  himself  to  a  similar  danger  to  that  which 

1  The  Times,  July  15,  1874. 


Moses  knew  he  and  the  Israelites  would  run  were 
they  to  sacrifice — that  is  to  say,  slaughter  for  eat- 
ing— the  toebah  of  the  Mitzrites  before  their  eyes. 

Though  the  Jews  of  later  ages  appear  to  have 
generally  understood  the  expression  in  question  in 
a  bad  sense,  in  which  they  have  been  followed  by 
all  Christian  translators  in  deference  to  the  Septua- 
gint  Greek  version,  it  is  manifest,  nevertheless,  from 
the  Targum  of  Onkelos,  that  such  was  not  the  una- 
nimous acceptation  of  the  term  even  down  to  so 
late  a  period  as  the  commencement  of  the  Christian 
era;  for  the  two  texts  above  cited  are  thus  ren- 
dered by  that  most  learned  Rabbi,  as  is  shown  in 
Mr.  Etheridges  English  translation,  The  Tar  gums 
of  Onkelos  and  Jonathan,  &c. :  *  because  the 
Mizraee  keep  at  a  distance  all  shepherds  of  flocks/ 
which  is  almost  precisely  the  primary  meaning  I 
attach  to  the  root  taab ;  and  '  because  the  animals 
which  the  Mizraee  worship  we  shall  take  to  sacri- 
fice/ which  is  the  secondary  meaning,  in  a  good 
sense,  for  which  I  likewise  contend. 

It  is  proper  to  explain  that  this  highly  important 
error  in  the  Greek  and  other  versions  first  presented 
itself  to  me  on  October  8th,  1833,  as  appears  from 
an  entry  in  my  notebook  under  that  date.  In  my 
work  "  Origines  Biblicae,"  published  in  the  following 


year,  I  merely  alluded  to  the  subject  in  a  note  in 
page  241,  intending  to  discuss  it  in  a  second  volume ; 
but  the  reception  my  work  met  with  was  such  that  I 
had  no  inducement  to  continue  it.  Nevertheless, 
two  years  afterwards,  when  answering  an  adverse 
critique  in  the  Heidelberger  Jahrbucher9  from  the 
pen  of  the  late  Dr.  Paulus  of  Jena  ( Vertheidigung, 
&c.,  pp.  45-47),  I  entered  into  the  subject  at  some 

At  that  time,  and  indeed  until  quite  recently, 
I  did  not  know  my  interpretation  of  the  word 
tdebah  to  be  almost  identical  with  that  of  Onkelos, 
or  I  should  gladly  have  cited  this  venerable  autho- 
rity in  support  of  my  argument  for  the  radical  dis- 
tinction between  the  Mitzrites,  Hyksos,  or  Shep- 
herds, among  whom  the  Israelites  were  in  bondage, 
and  the  Egyptians  of  profane  history,  which  distinc- 
tion M.  Mariette's  discovery  of  the  remains  of  the 
former  people  has  now  demonstrated  to  be  a  fact. 

Twelve  centuries  after  the  date  of  the  important 
event  in  the  history  of  the  progenitors  of  the 
Israelitish  nation  on  which  I  have  thus  dwelt, 
the  Father  of  profane  history  speaks  of  the  Men- 
desians,  who,  occupying  a  portion  of  Lower  Egypt 
in  the  direction  of  ancient  Mitzraim,  may  not 
improbably   have   derived   some    of    their  usages 


from  the  natives  of  that  country  ;  and  he  relates 
that  they1  'pay  reverence  to  all  goats,  and 
more  to  the  males  than  to  the  females,'  adding, 
quite  consistently,  that  '  the  goat-herds  who  tend 
them  receive  greater  honour.9  At  that  time,  how- 
ever, by  the  ordinary  process  of  development, 
the  religion  of  the  Mendesians  had  become  so 
debased  and  brutalized,  that  the  he-goat,  in  the 
character  of  the  god  Pan,  was  the  direct  object 
of  divine  worship,  or,  to  use  the  erroneous  ex- 
pression of  the  Septuagint  translators,  was  their 
'  abomination.' 

From  what  has  thus  been  said,  it  will  be  seen 
how  little  ground  there  is  for  Professor  Lepsius's 
conclusion  from  the  same  premises. — "  It  is  there- 
fore evident  that  Joseph  lived  at  an  Egyptian,  and 
not  a  Semitic  [Mitzritish]  court ;  the  old  tradition 
of  the  Jewish  interpreters,  that  Joseph  came  to 
*  Egypt '  in  the  reign  of  a  Shepherd  Bang,  Apophis, 
is  entirely  destroyed,  as  well  as  the  view  taken 
by  more  modern  scholars  concerning  the  Hebrew 
chronology  of  that  time."2  The  evidence  from 
every  quarter  really  is  that  Joseph  came  into  Mitz- 
raim  during  the  reign  of  a  Shepherd  King,  and  that 
he  lived  at  a  Mitzritish  court.      As  to  the  proper 

1  Herodotus,  ii.  46.  2  Lepsius's  Letters,  pp.  479,  480. 


««..  of  the  PWoh  at  who*  court  he  lived,  we 
««««  fir  n,ore  trustworthy  teatuuoav  tluu,  w.  at 
l~*  po^e,  to  warraut  u,  in  beUeviug  it  to  have 


The  further  question  as  to  the  Pharaoh  in  whose 
r,.go   the  Exodus  of  the  Israelites  actually  took 
place  is  attended  with  still  greater  difficulties.    The 
supposition  is  that  the  «  new  king  over  Mitzraim 
who  knew  not  Joseph," «  in  whose  reign  Moses  was 
born,  was  of  a  different  race  from  the  Pharaoh 
whose  Minister  Joseph  had  been-was  no  longer  a 
Shepherd  King,  is  untenable,  for  the  reason  that 
the  totbak,  or  the  sacred  animal  of  the  people 
under  whom  the  Israelites  were  in  bondage,  was 
the  same  as  it  had  been  when  Joseph's  brethren 
wow  set  apart  by  Pharaoh  to  be  the  "rulers  over 
0«^  cattle."* 

Josophus  attributes  this  notion  to  Manetho,  and' 
give*  some  most  distorted  accounts  of  the  Exodus, 
whioh  he  professes  to  repeat  in  the  very  words  of 
the  Ksyptian  scribe.     Even  if  confidence  might  be 
placed  in  the  report  of  the  Jewish  historian,  which, 
*vu,£  the  manuer  in  which  he  himself  manipulates 
the  history,  is  exceedingly  questionable,  there  are 


points  bearing  on  the  subject  which  are  highly  de- 
serving of  consideration. 

The  first  is  the  facility  with  which  the  transfer  of 
the  name  of  Mitzraim  to  Egypt  may  have  taken 
place,  so  that  the  traditions  of  the  one  country 
may,  together  with  its  name,  have  passed  into  and 
become  incorporated  with  the  national  history  of  the 
other.  We  have  an  instance  of  this  in  the  Eastern 
or  Greek  Empire,  which  acquired  the  denomination 
of  the  Western  or  Roman  Empire ;  the  language 
of  modern  Greece  being  called,  not '  Hellenic,'  but 
1  Romaic ; '  and  '  Roman '  (f  Pco/aoZo?),  not  '  Greek/ 
being  the  name  by  which,  previously  to  the  sepa- 
rate existence  of  the  kingdom  of  the  Hellenes,  a 
Christian  Greek  distinguished  himself  from  the 
Mohammedan  inhabitants  of  his  country. 

This  confusion  of  names  has  led  to  a  singular,  and 
it  may  be  most  important  result  in  Abyssinia.  It 
is  an  historical  fact,  that  in  the  fourth  century  that 
country  received  its  first  Christian  missionaries  from 
*  Rome,'  that  is  to  say,  from  the  Greek  Church  of 
Constantinople,  or  New  Rome.  At  the  present 
day  the  Roman  Catholic  missionaries  in  that  coun- 
try represent  themselves,  truly  enough,  as  coming 
from  '  Rome,' — only  in  this  case  the  name  means 


Old  Rome ;  and  as  the  Abyssinians  have  no  very 
extensive  geographical  or  historical  knowledge,  and 
as  the  Eomish  priests,  more  politic  than  their  pre- 
decessors in  the  sixteenth  and  seventeenth  centuries, 
modify  their  ritual,  and  cloak  if  they  do  not  actually 
modify  their  dogmas,  so  as  not  to  offend  native  pre- 
judices, they  are  making  steady  progress  in  the 
diffusion  of  their  faith,  which  the  ignorant  Abys- 
sinians  are  thus  led  to  imagine  to  be  that  of  the 
Fathers  of  their  Church ;  just  in  the  same  way  as 
the  Jews  of  Alexandria  imagined  their  forefathers 
to  have  been  in  bondage  in  Egypt. 

And  in  the  second  place,  the  traditions  and  his- 
tories of  the  two  countries  having  got  mixed  up 
together,  we  may  perfectly  understand  that  the 
scribes  of  Egypt  might  be  disposed  to  give  a 
favourable  colour  to  events  in  the  history  of  Mitz- 
raim  as  if  they  belonged  to  their  own  national  his- 
tory. In  what  form  they  would  have  been  likely 
to  do  this  may  be  instanced  by  the  native  Burmese 
account  of  the  British  invasion  and  conquest  of 
that  country. 

Ritter  in  his  "Erdkunde  von  Asien,"  Bd.  4,  s.  270, 
2  7 1 ,  2te  Ausgabe,  says, when  speaking  of  the  Burmese 
von  oben  lien,  that  the  Political  Lie  is  authori- 
tatively  sanctioned   among   them.     In   the   court 


chronicle,  the  historiographer  gives  the  following 
account  of  the  last  English  war  : — "  In  the  years 
1 186  and  1 187  (a.d.  1824  and  1825),  the  Kidapyu 
(i.e.,  the  white  strangers)  from  the  west  made  war 
against  the  Master  and  Lord  of  the  Golden  House. 
They  landed  at  Rangoon,  which  place  they  took  as 
well  as  Prome.    Owing  to  his  clemency  and  good- 
ness, the  king  desired   to   spare  human  life,  and 
therefore  did  not  oppose  them,  so  that  the  strangers 
were  allowed  to  advance  as  far  as  Yandabu.     They 
had,  however,  invested  large  sums  of  money  in 
this  expedition ;  and  when  they  reached  Yandabu 
they  found  themselves  in  want  and  in  great  distress. 
They  therefore  implored  the  King  to  help  them, 
and  he,  in  his  mercy  generously  sent  them  large 
sums  of  money  to  enable  them  to  pay  their  debts, 
and  he  then  commanded  them  to  leave  the  country." 
On  this  Hitter  remarks :  "  Such  is  their  historical 
truthfulness,  and  from  it  we  may  judge  the  little 
value  of  their  chronicles."    But  on  the  other  hand, 
it  has  to  be  observed  that  the  actual  historical  facts 
are  stated  :  the  landing  of  the  British,  their  taking 
of  Rangoon,  their  advance  as  far  as  Yandabu ;  the 
payment  to  them  of  large  sums  of  money,  and  their 
consequent  departure  from  the  country.     It  is  the 
motives  for  their  conduct  that  are  falsely  stated, 

1 2  2  DISCO  VER  Y  OF  MO  UNT  SINAI. 

whereby  a  totally  untrue  colour  is  given  to  the 
occurrences  recorded. 

But,  after  all,  there  is  nothing  extraordinary  in 
this.  How  seldom,  even  in  Europe,  is  history  writ- 
ten more  accurately  than  we  here  see  it  written  in 
Burmah.  Too  often,  indeed,  do  we  find  the  facts  not 
merely  misrepresented  and  distorted,  but  absolutely 
falsified ;  as,  for  instance,  in  the  war  bulletins  of  the 
first  Napoleon,  and  as  in  the  rival  reports  of  the 
opposing  parties  in  the  Spanish  Carlist  war  of  1874, 
from  which  it  is  often  impossible  to  decide  on  which 
side  the  advantage  really  is. 

I  can  only  say  that,  under  all  the  circumstances, 
it  is  fervently  to  be  desired  that  some  able  Egypto- 
logist, possessing  a  full  and  intimate  acquaintance 
with  all  the  facts,  will  be  bold  enough  to  emanci- 
pate himself  from  the  Manethonic  trammels,  and 
from  the  preconceived  ideas  which  they  have  only 
served  to  render  inveterate,  and  with  the  greater 
light  we  now  possess,  will  impartially  attempt  to 
reconstruct  the  chronology  and  history  of  Ancient 
Egypt,  and  with  it  those  of  Ancient  Mitzraim,  as 
far  as  may  be  practicable  upon  a  surer,  more  con- 
sistent, and  more  intelligible  basis.  I  saw  it  an- 
nounced1 that  Dr.    Samuel  Birch   of  the  British 

1  Athenaeum,  June  20,  1874. 


Museum  is  writing  a  small  popular  History  of 
Egypt  for  the  Society  for  Promoting  Christian 
Knowledge.  It  has  to  be  seen  how  far  this  will 
meet  the  case.1 

For  myself,  I  have  here  to  do  with  that  ancient 
history  so  far  only  as  it  is  connected  with  the 
Exodus  of  the  Israelites ;  and  with  respect  to  these 
points  I  think  it  may  be  taken  to  be  sufficiently 
well  established  that  the  people  among  whom  the 
Israelites  were  in  bondage  were  the  Mitzrites, 
Hyksos,  and  Shepherd  Kings ;  and  further,  that 
the  new  king  over  Mitzraim  who  knew  not  Joseph 
was  of  the  same  race  as  the  Pharaoh  whose  Minister 
that  Patriarch  had  been ;  the  country  of  those 
Mitzrites  being  situated  to  the  east  of  Egypt  Proper, 
and  lying,  as  was  suited  to  the  habits  of  a  shepherd 
people,  beyond  the  limits  of  the  periodical  inunda- 
tions of  the  river  Nile. 

These  are  postulates  which  must  be  accepted  aa 
the  basis  on  which  the  general  history  of  the 
Exodus  is  to  be  reconstructed  before  we  can  hope 
to  determine  the  particulars  of  that  history  in  any 
manner  at  all  satisfactory. 

1  This  has  since  been  published  under  the  title  of  "  Ancient  His- 
tory from  the  Monuments  of  Egypt,  from  the  Earliest  Times  to 
b.c.  300,"  1875. 

(     "4     ) 



When  I  had  finally  decided  on  setting  out  on  my 
journey  to  the  spot  where  I  had  calculated  on 
finding  Mount  Sinai,  in  accordance  with  the  views 
enunciated  in  my  pamphlet  "  Mount  Sinai  a 
Volcano,"  written  whilst  I  was  resident  at  Nice 
during  the  preceding  winter,  and  published  shortly 
after  my  return  to  England  in  June  1873,  ^  ^e- 
came  necessary  that,  not  being  a  geologist  myself, 
I  should  find  some  qualified  person  to  accompany 
me  in  that  capacity.  The  task  was  not  altogether 
an  easy  one.  In  the  first  instance,  I  addressed  my- 
self to  Professor  Ramsay,  the  able  Director  of  the 
Geological  Survey  of  England,  who  was  so  good  as 
to  interest  himself  on  my  behalf,  in  the  hope  of 
being  able  to  find  some  student  of  the  School  of 
Mines,  who  might  be  willing  to  accompany  me  on 
the  terms  I  proposed,  namely,  that  I  should  defray 
all  his  travelling  and  hotel  expenses  from  the  time 


we  left  England  till  our  return  ;  but  without  other- 
wise remunerating  him  for  his  services.  I  also 
applied  to  several  personal  friends ;  but  all  to  no 
beneficial  purpose,  so  that  I  had  almost  begun  to 
fear  I  should  not  through  private  channels  be  able 
to  find  any  one  willing  to  agree  to  my  terms,  and  I 
was  thinking  of  advertising  in  the  public  journals, 
when,  at  the  evening  meeting  of  the  Royal  Geo- 
graphical Society,  on  November  3,  1873,  I  met 
Professor  Tennant,  who  asked  me  a  question  re- 
specting a  certain  diamond  about  which  there  was 
formerly  a  scientific  discussion  at  the  British  Associa- 
tion, but  this  subject  I  need  not  dwell  on  here.  In 
the  course  of  our  conversation  I  mentioned  to  him 
that  I  was  in  search  of  a  young  geologist  to  accom- 
pany me  on  my  journey  to  Mount  Sinai,  whereupon 
he  at  once  said,  that  if  the  young  friend  who  was 
standing  by  his  side  should  feel  inclined  to  go  with 
me,  he  was  the  very  man.  This  young  friend  was 
Mr.  John  Milne,  whom  he  introduced  to  me  as 
having  only  two  days  ago  returned  from  Newfound- 
land, having  previously  been  in  Iceland.  Of  course 
there  was  no  opportunity  for  saying  much  on  the 
subject,  but  I  stated  briefly  the  scope  of  my  expe- 
dition, and  gave  Mr.  Milne  a  copy  of  my  pamphlet 
['  Mount  Sinai  a  Volcano '],  which  I  had  by  me, 


and  it  was  settled  that  if  he  should  be  disposed  to 
accompany  me,  he  was  to  write  to  me.  Meanwhile, 
I  ascertained  from  Mr.  Tennant  that  his  young 
friend  was  in  every  respect  likely  to  suit  me.  He 
was  for  some  time  a  pupil  of  his,  and  was  a  very  fair 
mineralogist ;  he  had  been  a  student  of  the  School 
of  Mines,  of  which  he  held  a  scholarship  for  this 
year  and  the  next ;  he  was  a  tolerable  draughtsman, 
and  was  generally  well  informed ;  in  fact,  he  spoke 
in  the  highest  terms  of  him.  On  the  following 
Thursday  Mr.  Milne  wrote  to  me  asking  for  further 
information  relative  to  my  projected  trip,  and  this 
led  to  a  meeting  on  the  following  Monday.  As  our 
negotiations  did  not  progress  very  rapidly,  and  as 
his  private  affairs  seemed  likely  to  detain  him  in 
England  longer  than  would  suit  my  convenience,  I 
proposed  that  I  should  start  alone  for  Egypt,  where 
I  should  necessarily  be  detained  some  time  making 
arrangements  for  the  further  journey,  and  that  he 
could  join  me  there  later  on. 

Meanwhile  my  wife  and  I  had  agreed  that  she 
should  pass  the  winter  at  Hastings,  as  she  was  in 
too  weak  health  to  accompany  me  as  usual  on  my 
travels ;  and  I  purposed  taking  her  thither  to  see  her 
settled  before  I  left  England,  and  therefore  pro- 


posed  not  to  return  to  London,  but  to  start  from 
Hastings  direct  for  the  Continent. 

This  led  to  a  final  arrangement  Mr.  Milne  ex- 
pressed  his  readiness  to  accompany  me,  and  to  start 
at  once,  on  my  agreeing  to  defray  all  his  expenses 
out  and  home,  and  upon  the  understanding  that 
his  absence  from  England  should  not  exceed  three 
months.  During  the  few  days  that  we  should  yet 
remain  in  England,  he  was  to  attend  at  the  house 
of  the  Royal  Geographical  Society  in  Savile  Eow, 
to  learn  from  Captain  George,  RN.  (curator  of  the 
map  room),1  the  use  of  his  travelling  mountain  baro- 
meter, and  other  instruments,  which  the  Council  of 
the  Society  kindly  lent  me  for  use  on  my  expedition. 

Having  thus  completed  my  arrangements,  I  went 
with  my  wife,  on  December  2, 1873,  down  to  Hast- 
ings, where  I  saw  her  housed  for  the  winter,  and 
on  the  morning  of  the  8  th  I  left  Hastings  for 
Folkestone,  where  I  had  appointed  Mr.  Milne  to 
meet  me.  On  the  way  I  travelled  with  a  Colonel 
Gibbon,  RE.,  with  whom  I  had  some  interesting  talk 
about  Colonel  Gordon,  who  had  been  engaged  by 
the  Khedive  to  take  the  place  of  Sir  Samuel  Baker 
in  Upper  Egypt     Although  I  do  not  know  Colonel 

1  This  very  courteous  and  able  officer  has  since  resigned  his  post 
at  the  Royal  Geographical  Society. 

1 28  DISCO  VER  V  OF  MO Ui\T  SINAL 

Gordon  personally,  I  should  have  had  no  hesitation 
in  introducing  myself  to  him.  At  the  same  time 
it  was  more  en  rdgle  that  I  should  have  a  personal 
introduction  to  him,  and  for  this  purpose  Colonel 
Gibbon  kindly  gave  me  his  card. 

But  the  continuation  of  the  narrative  of  my 
journey  will  be  given  from  my  letters  to  my  wife 
whilst  on  this  memorable  journey. 

December  8,  1873. — At  Folkestone  I  met  Mr. 
Milne,  who  came  down  from  London  by  the  boat- 
train,  and  we  crossed  over  to  Boulogne  together, 
and  proceeded  direct  to  Paris,  where  we  arrived  in 
time  for  a  late  dinner.  To  write  about  our  journey 
thus  far  may  seem  a  work  of  supererogation,  and  yet 
it  is  always  a  satisfaction  to  be  able  say  that  it  was 
pleasant.  To  me  the  condition  of  the  sea  is  of  no 
great  consequence ;  but  to  Mr.  Milne,  who  is  a  very 
bad  sailor,  it  was  important  that  the  weather, 
though  cold,  should  have  been  remarkably  fine, 
with  the  sea  as  smooth  as  glass.  On  the  way 
to  Paris  we  found  it  excessively  cold,  notwith- 
standing that  we  had  the  usual  foot  -  warmers. 
Having  seen  but  very  little  of  my  companion, 
Mr.  Milne,  in  London,  I  could  not  be  quite  sure 
how  we  should  get  on  together,  but  my  first  day's 
journey  satisfied  me  that  we  should  not  do  amiss, 
and  after  the  completion  of  the  journey  I  am  happy 

IRB  Y  AND  MANGLES.  1 29 

to  be  able  to  record  that  I  was  not  disappointed  in 
my  anticipation. 

Of  course  our  principal  topic  of  conversation 
was  what  I  hoped  to  do  and  find  where  we  were 
going.  My  pamphlet  Mr.  Milne  had  studied  well, 
but  there  were  still  many  points  on  which  he  was 
desirous  of  information,  and  this  I  was  only  too  ready 
and  willing  to  give  him,  so  that  our  conversation 
did  not  flag;  and  as  we  were  during  the  whole 
journey  alone  in  the  carriage,  we  could  converse 
without  restraint.  In  the  course  of  conversation  my 
companion  showed  me  a  book,  which  his  friend  Mr. 
Tennant  had  given  him  just  before  starting,  namely, 
a  copy  of  the  "Travels"  of  Irby  and  Mangles,  recently 
republished  in  Murray's  Library.  I  knew  the  work, 
but  had  not  had  occasion  to  refer  to  it  for  very 
many  years.  On  turning  over  the  leaves,  my  atten- 
tion was  riveted  on  a  description  of  three  volcanic 
peaks  seen  by  the  travellers  on  their  way  to  Petra, 
at  some  distance  on  their  left  hand,  seemingly  on,  or 
near  to  the  Hadj  route  from  Damascus  to  Mecca.  Not 
having  a  map  to  refer  to,  I  could  not  tell  the  precise 
position  of  these  volcanoes ;  but  they  would  almost 
seem  to  correspond  to  the  position  which  I  attri- 
buted to  the  Harra  Radjl&  of  the  Arabian  geogra- 
pher Yakut.  If  so,  my  work  will  soon  be  done :  in  fact, 



it  is  done  for  me  beforehand.  But  without  a  map  I 
cannot  be  sure,  and  there  is  always  the  danger  of 
these  volcanoes  being  too  far  to  the  north  and  east 
to  suit  the  position  which  I  attribute  to  Mount 
Sinai     We  shall  see,  Inshallah  I 

Milne  showed  me  a  letter  which  Mr.  Poulett 
Scrope l  had  writen  to  Mr.  Woodward,  of  the  British 
Museum,  on  the  subject  of  the  "burning  bush" 
(Exod.  iii.  2),  which  I  thought  might  have  been  a 
volcanic  exhalation — something  of  the  nature  of 
that  figured  by  Professer  Wetzstein  in  his  "  Keise- 
bericht  liber  Hauran  und  die  Trachonen."  Mr. 
Scrope  is  much  interested  in  my  expedition,  and 
has  suggested  to  me  several  important  subjects  of 
investigation  on  the  spot.  My  suggestion  respect- 
ing the  "  burning  bush,"  has  induced  him  to  consult 
on  the  subject  several  of  his  scientific  friends,  espe- 
cially Mr.  Woodward.  I  had  suggested  the  pos- 
sibility that  such  appearances  might  be  formed 
from  the  deposits  from  fumaroles ;  but  to  this  it  is 
objected  that  they  are  rather  due  to  the  ebullition 
of  the  pasty  superficial  crust  giving  off  gas,  and 
bubbling  up,  so  as  to  form  those  pillar-like  masses 
seen  on  the  lava  basin  of  Kilauea,  represented  in  Mr. 

1  I  have  to  record,  with  regret,  the  death  of  this  eminent  geolo- 
gist, and  generous  supporter  of  Dr.  Beke's  expedition. 

POULETT  SCROPE  \S  "  VOL CANOS."        1 3 1 

Poulett  Scrope's  work  on  *  Volcanos/  p.  476.  Mr. 
Brigham,  a  missionary  in  Hawaii,  describes  the  boil- 
ing up  of  the  lava,  which  leaves,  on  cooling,  the  most 
fantastic  forms.  The  fact  that  Dr.  Wetzstein  speaks 
of  them  as  being  "like  black  tongues  of  flame,"1 
would  seem  to  show  that  these  stick-like  bodies 
are  not  composed  of  sulphur ;  but  this  cannot  be 
asserted  for  a  certainty  in  the  absence  of  specimens. 
Altogether  there  is  plenty  of  room  for  speculation. 

December  9. — We  did  no  more  than  sleep  at 
Paris,  starting  this  morning  at  eleven  a.m.  by  the 
express  train  for  Turin.  Before  leaving  the  capital 
of  France  I  should  have  liked  Mr.  Milne  to  see 
something  of  it,  had  there  been  time.  As  it  was, 
I  could  only  suggest  that  whilst  I  went  to  pay  a 
hurried  visit  to  an  acquaintance,  he  should  go  and 
see  the  Palace  of  the  Tuileries,  which,  in  its  ruined 
state,  is  to  my  mind  the  sight  most  worth  seeing 
in  Paris  on  account  of  its  associations.  I  cannot 
look  on  it  without  fancying  to  myself  that  I  see 
one  of  the  ruined  buildings  of  Ancient  Rome,  as 
it  was  before  the  interstices  between  the  columns 
were  walled  up,  so  as  to  turn  it  to  modern  uses. 

My  companion  had  no  such  sentimental  fancies. 
En  vrai  gSologue,  he  came  back  full  of  the  fossils 

1  "  Wie  zlingelnde  schwarze  Flam  men,"  ut  sup.  p.  7. 


he  had  observed  in  the  stones  of  which  the  palace 
is  built,  which  interested  him  far  more  than  the 
building  itself  in  its  ruined  condition.  Travelling 
for  five-and-twenty  hours  consecutively,  we  arrived 
the  following  day  at  noon  at  Turin,  where  we  rested 
for  the  day,  but  would  not  sleep,  because  I  deemed 
it  better  to  go  on  the  same  evening  after  dinner  to 
Milan,  and  have  five  hours  more  journey  before 
going  to  bed,  and  then  to  rise  as  much  later  next 
morning,  so  as  to  catch  the  train  for  Venice  at  9. 20 
a.m.,  instead  of  having  to  get  up  at  Turin  for  the 
same  train  leaving  that  city  at  4.40.  Travelling 
in  the  early  morning  is  much  more  uncomfortable 
than  late  in  the  evening :  the  getting  up  in  the 
cold,  and  having  to  pack  up,  breakfast — and  you 
are  lucky  if  you  can  get  it — and  start  in  the  dark, 
are  things  above  all  others  to  be  avoided  whenever 
it  is  practicable  ;  and  it  is  anything  but  warm  here 
in  the  North  of  Italy  in  the  month  of  December.  I 
wrote  from  here  to  Mr.  Bolton  to  send  me  out  a 
copy  of  the  best  map  for  my  journey. 

An  amusing  episode  occurred  at  Turin  with  a 
party  of  American  females — I  would  not  insult  our 
Transatlantic  cousins  by  calling  them  "  ladies  " — 
which,  though  it  caused  us  some  little  annoyance  at 
first,  was  in  the  result  a  source  of  much  amusement 



to  us,  and  will  long  continue  to  be  so.  Being  rather 
behindhand  at  the  station,  we  found  most  of  the  car- 
riages full,  and  had  some  difficulty  in  finding  places. 
Seeing  our  position,  the  guard  opened  the  door  of 
one  of  the  carriages,  and  desired  us  to  get  in. 
There  seemed  plenty  of  room  in  it,  but  as  Milne 
and  I  attempted  to  get  up,  we  were  met  by  loud 
cries  of  "You  shan't  come  in  here."  Thinking  it 
might  be  a  "ladies'  carriage,"  we  were  for  turning 
back,  but  the  guard  persisted  in  saying  we  were  to 
get  in  ;  and  as  we  saw  there  was  plenty  of  room, — 
there  being  only  three  females  in  a  carriage  holding 
eight, — we  took  our  places,  though  most  unwillingly, 
as  one  of  those,  whose  fellow-travellers  we  were 
thus  destined  to  be,  placed  herself  in  the  middle  of 
the  carriage  (where  there  is  a  division  of  the  seats), 
and  with  her  arms  akimbo  screamed  out,  "  You 
shan't  come  here !  you  shan't  come  here ! "  I 
endeavoured  to  "  tame  the  shrew  "  by  assuring  her 
that  I  had  no  wish  to  intrude  on  her  and  her 
companions,  and  I  should  have  much  preferred  not 
to  travel  with  them  ;  but  she  was  not  to  be  silenced : 
especially  when,  just  as  the  train  was  going  to  start, 
the  carriage  door  was  opened  and  another  male 
passenger  was  shown  in.  He  was  a  respectable 
Piedmontese,  apparently  of  the  middle  class,  who 


did  not  know  a  word  of  English,  and  hearing  this 
torrent  of  abuse  poured  out,  seemed  utterly  scared, 
not  knowing  at  all  what  it  meant.  He  took  his 
seat  in  silence  by  Milne's  side,  next  to  the  door.  I 
attempted  a  few  words  of  explanation  and  apology, 
but  I  had  hardly  opened  my  mouth  when  our  as- 
sailant exclaimed,  "  You  need  not  speak  Italian  " — 
pronounced  Eye-talian  ! — "  I  understand  what  you 
say."  Of  course  it  was  useless  to  take  any  notice  of 
this,  or  of  her  continued  abuse  of  us  men  for  our 
ill  manners  in  intruding  our  company  on  ladies. 
Interspersed  with  this,  was  her  calling  through  the 
window  to  a  companion,  who  had  joined  a  party  in 
another  carriage,  and  who  could  not  be  induced  to 
leave  them ;  not  even  to  come  to  the  "  lunch  "  of 
which  her  friends  with  us  were  about  to  partake. 
It  sounded  strange  to  our  English  ears  to  hear  the 
repeated  cry  at  night,  "  Annie !  won't  you  come  to 
your  lunch  ?  Annie !  why  don't  you  come  to  your 
lunch  ?  "  And  the  absurdity  of  the  expression  made 
such  an  impression  on  us  both,  that  during  the 
remainder  of  our  journey  our  usual  call  to  meals 
was,  "  Annie !  won't  you  come  to  your  lunch  ?  " 
We  were  most  happy  to  part  from  our  American 
cousins  at  Alessandria,  they  going  on  to  Bologna 
and  we  to  Milan. 


After  a  good  night's  rest  at  Milan,  we  left  that 
city  for  Venice  at  9.20  a.m.  I  had  purposed  call- 
ing on  Mr.  Kelly,  Her  Majesty's  Vice-Consul,  whose 
acquaintance,  as  you  know,  I  had  made  when  we 
were  at  Milan  towards  the  end  of  1872,  and  who 
lives  in  the  Albergo  Reale,  where  we  put  up  for  the 
night.  But,  as  it  was  too  late  to  call  on  him,  espe- 
cially as  he  had  arrived  from  Como  only  the  previous 
evening,  I  contented  myself  with  sending  my  card  to 
his  apartment,  with  "  P.  P.  C,  on  his  way  to  Mount 
Sinai."  Just  before  we  started,  Mr.  Kelly  came 
down  into  the  breakfast-room ;  the  omnibus,  how- 
ever; being  in  the  yard,  and  our  luggage  loaded  on 
it,  we  had  only  time  for  a  few  friendly  words. 

December  1 1. — We  arrived  at  Venice  at  4. 1 5  p.m. 
My  first  duty  was  to  despatch  a  telegram  to  you 
announcing  my  safe  arrival  thus  far;  and  then  Milne 
and  I  took  our  luggage  on  board  the  Peninsular 
and  Oriental  Company's  steamer  "  Simla,"  by  which 
vessel  I  had  secured  our  passage.  We  have  a  cabin 
of  four  berths  to  our  two  selves  :  it  is  considerably 
forward,  being  even  with  the  fore-hatchway ;  but 
this  disadvantage  is  more  than  counterbalanced  by 
our  having  it  to  ourselves  ;  besides,  the  cabins  for- 
ward do  not  feel  the  motion  of  the  screw.  Having 
deposited  our  luggage  in  the  cabin,  we  were  not 


allowed  to  remain  on  board,  but  had  to  go  on  shore 
for  the  night.  We  therefore  went  to  the  Hotel 
Danieli,  dined,  and  after  dinner  I  went  out  with 
Milne  to  show  him  the  '  lions  '—those  of  St.  Mark, 
as  well  as  the  others.  For  myself,  I  have  been  at 
Venice  twice  before,  and  I  am  besides  so  thoroughly 
blasS  as  regards  mere  sight-seeing,  that  I  hardly 
think  I  would  go  ten  steps  to  see  the  finest  sight 
in  the  world.  Yet  I  heartily  enjoy  witnessing  the 
excitement  of  those  to  whom  such  sights  are  a 
novelty,  and  I  do  not  altogether  dislike  acting  as 
cicerone  to  young  fellow-travellers,  provided  only 
that  they  are  intelligent  beings,  and  do  not  put  my 
patience  too  much  to  the  test  by  silly  questions  and 
remarks.  Milne  has  never  been  on  the  Continent 
before,  except  for  a  day  or  two  at  St.  Malo,  in  the 
time  of  the  last  Revolution,  and  the  zest  with  which 
he  views  all  the  novelties  among  which  he  passes, 
is  very  refreshing  and  amusing.  But  the  best  of 
all  is  that  his  first  thought  is  the  mineralogical 
character  of  each  object  that  presents  itself  to  his 
sight.  As  in  the  case  of  the  Tuileries,  it  is  not 
the  form,  or  age,  or  historical  character  of  the 
buildings,  so  much  as  the  stone  of  which  it  is 
built.  It  is  the  same  with  him  all  the  way  along ; 
it  is  not  the  landscape  in  which  he  is  interested, 

AT  SEA.  137 

but  the  character  of  the  rocks.  He  will  make  me 
a  geologist  in  time. 

At  sea,  past  Ancona,  2  p.m.,  December  13, 
1873. — When  we  went  on  board  last  evening,  the 
steward  told  us  that  the  steamer  would  not  start 
till  noon.  I  was  therefore  in  no  hurry  in  the 
morning,  but  went  out  with  Milne  to  show  him  the 
Piazza  di  San  Marco.  Still,  not  wishing  to  be 
behindhand,  I  thought  it  better  to  be  on  board 
soon  after  ten  o'clock ;  and  well  it  was  that  I  did 
so,  for  when  we  reached  the  steamer  at  10.25  a.m., 
I  found  her,  to  my  surprise,  on  the  point  of  starting. 
The  bill  of  health  was  already  made  out,  with  the 
number  of  passengers  on  board,  &c.  !  Our  two 
names  had  to  be  added ;  and  as  soon  as  this  was 
done  the  health  officers  took  their  departure,  and 
the  vessel  started.  Another  five  minutes  and  we 
should  have  been  too  late.  The  stupid  steward 
had  misled  us,  and  my  stupidity  was  not  less  in 
allowing  myself  to  be  misled.  Fortunately  my 
usual  nervous  anxiety  to  be  in  time  served  me  in 
good  stead ;  had  I  waited,  as  most  people  do,  till 
nearly  the  last  moment,  so  as  still  to  have  "  plenty 
of  time,"  I  should  have  been  too  late.  However, 
all's  well  that  ends  well. 

Thus  far  we  have  had  a  delightful  passage,  the  sea 


being  as  smooth  as  when  you  and  I  went  from 
Trieste  in  1 86 1  on  our  way  to  Harran.  We  reached 
Ancona  by  midnight,  and  then  took  in  cargo  all 
night,  which  was  not  the  best  thing  for  a  quiet 
night's  rest.  At  9. 30  in  the  morning  we  left  An- 
cona, and  we  are  now  steaming  and  sailing  before 
the  wind  at  the  rate  of  eleven  knots  an  hour.  The 
"  Simla  "  is  our  old  ship,  which  has  been  some  fifteen 
or  eighteen  years  in  the  Indian  seas,  and  is  now  put 
on  the  Mediterranean  service.  With  the  exception 
of  the  officers,  the  ship  has  an  Italian  crew,  now 
shipped  at  Venice.  The  English  crew  are  on  board 
as  passengers  to  Alexandria*  whence  they  will  be 
sent  home  to  Southampton  via  Gibraltar.  They 
are  a  lazy,  drunken,  disobedient,  insolent  set,  and 
the  Peninsular  and  Oriental  Company  have  wisely 
decided  on  having  only  Italians  in  their  Mediter- 
ranean service.  I  have  really  nothing  to  tell  you 
except  that  I  continue  quite  well,  and  get  on  with 
Milne,  who  helps  me  just  as  a  son  might  his  father. 
Brindisij  December  14,  Sunday. — We  arrived  at 
about  ten  o'clock  this  morning  after  a  wonderfully 
smooth  passage,  and  are  now  busily  taking  in  some 
300  tons  of  coal  We  were  advised  to  spend  the 
day  on  shore  on  account  of  the  dirt  and  noise  of 
coaling,  and  Milne  did  indeed  land  as  soon  as  we 


arrived,  but  he  did  not  remain  long  on  shore,  being 
quite  disgusted  with  the  place ;  and  no  wonder, 
for  it  is,  as  you  know,  most  uninteresting.  Know- 
ing the  place  of  old,  I  remained  on  board,  writing  a 
letter  on  the  "  three  volcanoes  "  seen  by  Irby  and 
Mangles,  for  insertion  in  the  "  Athenamm."  I  am 
sorry  to  say  that  our  commander,  Captain  Evans, 
tells  me  that,  on  our  arrival  at  Alexandria,  we  shall 
have  forty-eight  hours  quarantine.  This  will  be  an 
unfortunate  loss  of  time  and  money,  for  we  shall 
have  to  pay  for  our  keep  on  board  during  the  two 

Milne  proposes  that  whilst  thus  detained  on 
board  ship  in  the  harbour,  I  should  give  a  lecture 
on  my  intended  journey,  both  by  way  of  killing 
time,  and  also  of  amusing  and  instructing  our  fel- 
low-passengers. He  has  already  spoken  to  Captain 
Evans  on  the  subject,  who  thinks  it  a  good  plan,  if 
I  have  no  objection.  Of  course  I  have  not,  as 
little  or  no  preparation  will  be  necessary,  I  having 
merely  to  read  selections  from  my  pamphlet.  Milne 
says  that  this  giving  lectures  is  usual  on  board 
American  steamers,  and  that  Professor  Tyndall 
gave  one  going  out,  and  another  coming  home.  I 
think  the  plan  an  excellent  one. 

And  now  about  Captain  Evans.     He  is  your  old 


friend,  the  captain  of  the  "  Alma,"  which  took  you 
your  first  voyage  from  Southampton  to  Alexandria 
in  1856  I  He  heard  me  last  night  talking  about 
cholera  in  Mauritius,  and  so  this  morning  he  came 
and  introduced  himself  to  me.  I  thanked  him 
heartily,  as  you  may  suppose,  for  all  his  kindness 
to  you  on  that  voyage.  It  so  happens  that  at 
table  we  sit  next  to  the  Captain,  as  our  cabins 
are  in  the  forepart  of  the  vessel,  and  therefore 
our  seats  at  the  table  are  not  regulated  by  the 
position  of  our  berths.  Milne,  when  we  came  on 
board  at  Venice,  chose  an  end  seat,  in  order  to 
provide  for  his  having  to  run  out  of  the  saloon  in 
the  event  of  his  feeling  queer.  Our  seats  turn  out 
to  be  numbers  two  and  three — the  Captain,  at  the 
head  of  the  table,  being  number  one.  Opposite  we 
have  a  young  man  and  his  wife,  apparently  newly 
married,  who  are  going  out  to  India.  Next  to  me 
is  an  old  Scotchman  named  Williams,  who  knew  my 
brother,  Colonel  William  Beek,  and  his  son,  Charley, 
in  Sicily.  I  do  not  feel  at  all  well  to-day,  and  be- 
sides have  a  nasty  hang-nail  on  the  forefinger  of 
the  left  hand,  which  has  obliged  me  to  get  the 
ship's  surgeon  to  look  at  it. 

At  sea,  December  15. — We  left  Brindisi  at  6.15 
a.m.,  the  weather  being  even   finer  and  the   sea 

AT  SEA.  141 

smoother  than  it  was  in  the  Adriatic.  I  tell 
Captain  Evans  that  if  you  could  have  known  we 
should  have  such  a  passage,  you  would  have  been 
almost  tempted  to  have  come  with  me.  I  wish 
you  had ;  only  then  how  should  we  have  managed 
about  the  expense  ?  My  slight  indisposition  has 
passed  over,  and  I  am,  in  fact,  all  the  better  for  it. 
A  good  many  passengers  came  on  board  at  Brindisi, 
so  that  we  have  now  sixty-one  first-class  passengers 
and  a  lot  of  second  class.  We  speak  all  the  lan- 
guages of  the  Tower  of  Babel. 

December  16. — The  weather  is  finer  than  ever. 
During  the  night  I  really  thought  we  were  not 
moving,  my  cabin  being  so  far  forward  that  in  it 
the  motion  of  the  screw  and  its  noise  are  not  felt. 
Nothing  new  among  the  passengers,  except  that 
one  of  them  is  a  Colonel  Moggridge,  of  the  Royal 
Engineers,  with  whom  Milne  became  acquainted 
last  year  on  their  passage  together  to  America.  He 
came  on  board  at  Brindisi,  and  they  have  now  re- 
newed their  acquaintance.  He  is  a  brother  officer 
and  friend  of  Colonel  Gordon's,  and  we  at  first 
thought  he  might  be  going  out  to  join  him, 
but  Milne  soon  learned  that  he  is  going  right 
through  to  India  in  quarantine ;  that  is  to  say,  a 
special  train  takes  the  Indian  mails  and  passengers 


across  Egypt  without  communicating  with  anybody 
or  anything  on  the  road — the  train  from  Alexandria 
to  Suez  no  longer  going  through  Cairo.  On  the 
voyage  to  Brindisi,  and  from  thence  hither,  I  have 
been  studying  the  subject  of  the  three  volcanic 
peaks  seen  by  Irby  and  Mangles,  and  I  have  em- 
bodied the  results  of  my  investigation  in  an  article 
intended  for  insertion  in  the  "  Athenaeum."  Milne 
i.  .  fcmou,  prefer  of  my  "gMpel;"  perhaps  I 
should  rather  say,  an  excellent  jackal  to  my  lion. 
He  goes  about  talking  with  people  about  me  and 
my  expedition  in  a  way  I  cannot,  and  could  not  do ; 
so  that  by  this  time  the  affair  is  known  and  talked 
about  by  all  on  board.  But  I  have  not  fallen  in 
with  any  one  who  takes  a  special  interest  in  it. 

December  17. — Still  lovely  weather,  and  it  is 
now  getting  warm.  To-morrow  morning  we  shall 
be  at  Alexandria,  Inshallah  I  (Please  God).  In 
anticipation  of  our  arrival,  I  have  completed  the 
following  article  for  the  "  Athenaeum  "  : 1 — 

"  During  my  journey  from  England  I  have  been 
looking  into  the  'Travels  in  Egypt/  Ac.,  of  Captains 
Irby  and  Mangles  (Murray,  1868),  which  my  com- 
panion, Mr.  Milne,  haa  happened  to  bring  with  him— 
a  work  which  I  may  possibly  have  seen  in  an  earlier 

1  See  AthensBum,  3d  January  1 874. 


edition  in  years  gone  by,  but  of  which  I  have  no 
recollection — and  to  my  surprise  and  delight  I  have 
lighted  on  the  two  passages  which  are  here  trans- 
cribed. The  one  is  in  page  115,1  describing  their 
departure  from  Gharundel,  between  Kerek  and 
Petra,  on  the  east  side  of  the  Ghor,  the  prolonga- 
tion of  the  valley  of  the  Jordan  south  of  the  Dead 
Sea,  where  it  is  said,  '  Our  road  was  now  south- 
west, and  a  white  line  in  the  desert,  at  a  distance 
to  the  left,  as  far  as  the  eye  could  reach,  was  pointed 
out  as  the  hadj  road  to  Mecca.  We  noticed  three 
dark  volcanic  summits,  very  distinguishable  from 
the  sand.  The  lava  that  had  streamed  from  them 
forms  a  sort  of  island  in  the  plain.9  And  in  the 
next  page,  on  their  arrival  at  Showbec  or  Shobek, 
they  say,  'We  had  a  most  extensive  view  from  here, 
comprising  the  whole  skirts  of  the  desert,  with  the 
volcanic  hills  which  I  have  mentioned.' 

"  As  I  have  not  a  map  here  with  me  to  which  I 
might  refer,  I  cannot  comment,  except  in  general 
terms,  on  the  very  important  facts  brought  to  my 
knowledge  in  the  foregoing  extracts.  But  from 
these  it  appears  that  the  travellers,  when  taking  a 
south-west  course,  saw  to  their  left  the  road  to 
Mecca,  which,  of  course,  bore  south-east  or  there- 

1  Irby  and  Mangles'  "  Travels  in  Egypt,"  London,  Murray,  1868. 

t44        r:sco i~ex  r  of  mouxt  sixal 

about*,  whew  it  passed  through  Akaba-esh-Shami ; 
and  from  the  white  line  of  this  road,  stretching  as 
far  as  the  eye  could  reach,  and  the  more  distinct 
description  of  the  dark  volcanic  summits,  with 
their  lava  field,  forming,  as  it  were,  an  island  in 
the  plain,  the  legitimate  inference  is  that  the  former 
is  more  distinct  than  the  latter  :  that  is  to  say,  the 
volcanic  region  lies  to  the  west  of  the  hadj  road 
running  along  the  meridian  of  Akaba-esh-Shami, 
which  is  in  360  E.  long. 

"  In  what  parallel  of  latitude  the  same  are  to  be 
placed  depends  on  the  distance  the  travellers  were 
able  to  see,  and  this  again  will  in  part  depend  on 
the  height  of  the  volcanic  summits  and  the  state 
of  the  atmosphere.  But  it  seems  to  be  quite  cer- 
tain that  they  must  be  situate  at  some  distance  to 
the  south  of  the  parallel  of  Petra  and  Ma'an,  which 
is  about  300  20'  north,  and  that,  therefore,  they  lie 
within  the  Harra  Radjlk,  of  which  the  limits  are 
pretty  accurately  determined  by  the  reports  of 
Burckhardt  and  Palgrave,  the  former  of  whom  ap- 
pears to  have  skirted  it  on  the  east,  and  the  latter 
on  the  north,  as  is  shown  in  page  43  of  my  pam- 
phlet ['  Mount  Sinai  a  Volcano '].  It  is  within  the 
range  of  possibility  that  Mount  Sinai  itself  is  one 
of  these    '  three  volcanic    summits *  of  Irby  and 


Mangles ;  but  I  doubt  it,  being  rather  of  opinion 
that  the  mountain  which  'burned  with  fire  unto 
the  midst  of  heaven  *  at  the  time  of  the  delivery  of 
the  Law  unto  Moses,  is  a  separate  volcano,  standing 
further  to  the  south,  but  situate  always  within  the 
same  volcanic  region  as  the  other  three,  and  form- 
ing part  of  the  same  chain  of  mountains  of  igneous 
origin.  Under  this  view,  the  destruction  of  Korah, 
Dathan,  and  Abiram  may  have  occurred  some- 
where on  the  flank  of  one  of  these  more  northerly 

"  In  any  case,  the  Harra  RadjlA,  of  which  Mount 
Sinai  forms  a  part,  appears  to  be  now  shut  in  by 
the  Wady  Arabah  on  the  west,  Palgrave's  route 
through  Ma'an  on  the  north,  and  the  hadj  road 
between  that  town  and  Akaba-esh-Shami  on  the 
east ;  and  as  on  the  south  it  must  necessarily  be 
limited  by  the  road  from  the  head  of  the  Red  Sea 
eastward,  that  is  to  say,  from  Akaba  to  Akaba- 
esh-Shami,  there  can  be  no  serious  difficulty  in 
reaching  Mount  Sinai  from  Akaba  by  the  way  of 
Wady  Ithem,  the  Etham  of  the  Exodus,  and  as  I 
hope  to  have  it  shortly  in  my  power  to  do." 

3  p.m. — The  weather  is  finer  than  ever,  but  being 
now  in  the  open  sea,  the  vessel  rolls  a  little,  though 

1  See  "  Mount  Sinai  a  Volcano,"  p.  43. 


nothing  of  consequence.  We  have  had  a  splendid 
passage,  and  expect  to  be  at  Alexandria  by  ten 
o'clock  to-morrow  morning,  this  being  about 
seventy-six  hours.  You  and  I  did  it,  you  know, 
in  seventy-two  hours,  but  the  old  "  Simla's  "  bottom 
is  very  foul,  and  her  engines  are  not  so  good  as 
they  were  once.  Like  myself,  both  she  and  they 
are  not  so  young  as  they  used  to  be.  We  have 
on  board  three  Italian  girls,  second-class  pas- 
sengers, who  are  said  to  be  going  to  the  Khedive's 
Hartm,  to  make  dresses  for  His  Highness's  ladies. 
We  have  also  a  prima  donna  going  to  the  theatre 
at  Alexandria.  I  have  not  seen  the  lady,  but  I 
hear  she  has  been  singing  in  the  cuddy.   Last  night 

I  had  a  long  talk  with  General  H ,  who  is  going 

out  to  India.  My  friend  Captain  Burton  was  in 
his  regiment,  and  we  had  a  long  talk  about  him. 
He  says  he  is  wonderfully  clever,  &c.  My  neighbour, 
Mr.  Williams,  was  with  Burton  a  few  days  ago  in 
I  stria,  where  they  were  travelling,  which  seems  to 
be  the  reason  why  he  did  not  answer  my  last 

December  18. — During  the  night  the  sea  got 
rather  rougher,  and  this  morning  we  had  the  trays 
laid  on  the  table  for  our  plates.  At  tiffin  the  ship 
gave  such  a  lurch  that  everything  was  sent  flying  ! 


However  it  got  better  as  we  neared  the  land,  and 
by  2  p.m.  we  were  in  the  harbour  of  Alexandria. 
I  had  a  telegram  announcing  our  safe  arrival  all 
ready,  and  sent  it  on  shore  in  the  purser's  despatch- 
box,  so  that  by  this  time  (4  p.m.)  it  may  have 
reached  you — especially  if  we  allow  for  the  dif- 
ference of  longitude.  It  costs  thirty-one  shillings, 
a  good  deal  of  money,  but  at  all  events  you  will 
know  that  I  have  arrived  safely  and  in  good 

We  have  sent  off  the  India  mails  and  some  of  the 
passengers'  baggage.  The  rest,  with  the  passengers 
themselves,  will  leave  at  6  p.m.  lliey  cross  Egypt 
in  quarantine,  as  I  told  you  before,  not  being 
allowed  to  leave  the  railway  carriages  during  the 
whole  journey,  which  will  occupy  at  least  ten 
hours.  I  do  not  envy  them.  In  the  harbour  there 
is  a  nice  little  steamer  belonging  to  the  Khedive 
just  come  from  the  Red  Sea.  She  is  one  of  the 
two  boats  formerly  belonging  to  the  Peninsular  and 
Oriental  Steam  Navigation  Company — the  "  Vectis," 
the  other  being  the  "  Valetta" — which  used  to  carry 
the  mails  between  Malta  and  Marseilles.  I  have 
made  the  passage  in  one  of  them  :  her  companion 
was  lost  some  time  ago  in  the  Red  Sea.  I  should 
like  much  to  have  her  to  take  me  to  Akaba  :  she 


is  only  nine  hundred  tons,  and  so  would  be  quite 
big  enough  to  carry  me  and  all  my  suite  !  There 
are  several  of  the  Khedive's  steamers  lying  in  the 
harbour  doing  nothing,  and  I  am  told  that  there 
are  plenty  more  at  Suez  employed  in  the  same 

It  is  not  certain  yet  whether  we  shall  have  two 
days'  quarantine.  The  Austrian  Lloyd's  boat,  which 
arrived  yesterday,  has  been  admitted  to  pratique, 
and  perhaps  we  may  be  to-morrow  morning.  Mean- 
while we  have  the  yellow  flag  at  the  masthead,  and 
a  couple  of  guardiani  on  board  to  prevent  com- 
munication with  the  shore.  The  weather  is  fine, 
but  there  is  a  strong  wind  blowing,  which  makes 
it  very  cold  still.  My  finger  is  not  quite  well  yet. 
We  have  been  about  seventy-nine  hours  on  the 
voyage  from  Brindisi — eighty  nominally,  but  we 
gain  an  hour  on  the  longitude.  The  contract  time 
is  seventy-five  hours,  and  we  should  have  done  it 
within  the  time,  had  it  not  been  for  a  heavy  cur- 
rent setting  in  against  us.  I  have  given  Captain 
Evans  my  address  at  the  London  Institution,  and 
invited  him  to  call  on  me  there,  where  he  will  be 
always  sure  to  hear  of  me.  He  has  promised  to  do 
so,  but  does  not  expect  to  be  in  England  for  some 
time  to  come.  He  only  joined  the  "  Simla"  at  Venice, 


having  come  overland  from  England,  where  he  has 
been  staying  several  months:  he  is  now  com- 
mander of  the  Peninsular  and  Oriental  fleet  You 
may  imagine  the  confusion  we  are  in;  but  we 
shall  be  quieter  for  a  while  as  soon  as  the 
Indian  passengers  have  left.  Colonel  Moggridge 
goes  through  to  Hong-Kong:  he  is  much  inte- 
rested  in  my  pamphlet,  and  has  commissioned 
Milne  to  send  him  a  copy  of  my  work  as  soon  as 
it  is  published.  The  passengers  all  left  the  ship  at 
5.30  p.m.  to  go  by  the  six  o'clock  train. 

December  19. — During  the  night  we  had  a  regu- 
lar storm,  the  rain  falling  in  torrents.  This  morn- 
ing it  is  fine  again  ;  but  a  strong  north-west  wind 
is  blowing,  and  it  is  very  cold.  This  is  rather 
different  weather  to  that  you  and  I  used  to  expe- 
rience in  Egypt  in  former  years.  Fortunately  we 
got  in  as  we  did  yesterday  afternoon,  as  otherwise 
we  should  have  had  to  lie  off  the  harbour ;  for  in 
this  weather  it  would  have  been  impossible  to  enter 
the  port.1  Before  breakfast  the  health  officer  came 
on  board  to  inspect  us,  and  we  had  all  to  pass  be- 
fore him.  It  was  a  mere  form,  or  rather  a  mere 
farce,  for  several  of  the  passengers  never  presented 

1  A  scheme  is  now  on  foot  for  the  improvement  of  the  entrance 
to  the  harbour,  whereby  vessels  will  be  enabled  to  enter  the  port  in 
all  weathers. 


themselves  !  But  we  shall  have  to  remain  on  board 
till  two  o'clock  to-morrow  (Saturday)  afternoon, 
and  so  I  fear  I  shall  not  be  able  to  do  anything  in 
the  way  of  business  till  Monday  morniflg,  which 
will  be  another  great  loss  of  time  and  money. 
Pazienza ! 

1  hear  that  the  Peninsular  and  Oriental  Company 
have  a  small  steamer,  the  "  Timsah,"  lying  at  Suez 
doing  nothing.  She  is  of  about  four  hundred  tons, 
aud  was  sent  out  to  tug  the  Company's  large  steamers 
through  the  Canal ;  but  they  find  that  the  tonnage 
on  her  would  cost  too  much,  so  that  she  is  not 
used  for  the  purpose  intended.  She  would  be  the 
very  ship  for  me,  if  I  could  but  get  her ;  tljat  is, 
supposing  the  Khedive  will  not  assist  me ;  but  I 
trust  he  will.  They  say  he  is  very  hard  up  for 
money,  having  been  able  to  raise  only  five  or  six 
millions  of  the  loan  of  thirty  millions  he  is  in  want 
of.  If  only  he  could  be  persuaded  to  help  me  1 
Perhaps  he  may  do  so  in  the  hope  that  it  will  tell 
in  England. 

2  p.m. — We  have  now  been  half  our  time  in  the 
harbour :  the  weather  is  still  very  dirty,  but  I 
think  the  worst  is  over,  and  that  we  shall  have  fine 
weather  to-morrow  to  land  in.  We  have  a  Dutch 
artist  on  board — a  M.  Van  Elven — who  is  painting 

GOSSIP  ON  EG  YPT.  151 

veiws  of  the  ships  in  the  harbour.  I  wish  it  were 
in  my  power  to  take  him  with  me.  My  contem- 
plated lecture  is  not  spoken  of.  The  fact  is,  that 
most  of  our  English  passengers  have  left  the  ship 
and  gone  on  to  India.  Those  who  remain,  however 
respectable  they  may  be  in  themselves,  are  but  a 
mongrel  set — Germans,  French,  Italians,  &c,  who 
do  not  much  care  for  such  things.  This  stopping 
on  board  is  most  tedious,  there  being  nothing  to  do 
but  to  walk  about  and  chat  on  indifferent  subjects. 
The  Khedive,  I  hear,  gives  general  dissatisfaction. 
He  spends  money  like  water,  and  oppresses  every- 
body. They  talk  of  his  reign  coming  soon  to  an  end. 
I  hope,  however,  this  may  not  be  just  yet. 

I  have  been  chatting  with  M.  Van  Elven,  who 
tells  me  he  is  established  in  Paris,  and  is  now  going 
to  Beirut  and  Damascus  :  so  I  recommended  him  to 
go  on  to  Harran,  which  place  I  told  him  we  visited 
in  1 86 1,  and  identified  as  the  Haran  of  Scripture, 
the  resideuce  of  the  Patriarch  Abraham ;  and  that 
Mrs.  Beke  had  published  a  narrative  of  the  journey 
in  1865,  entitled  "  Jacob's  Flight ;  or,  A  Pilgrimage 
to  Harran,  and  thence  in  the  Patriarch's  Footsteps 
into  the  Promised  Land."1  He  said  he  would  make 
a  point  of  going  there.    I  then  spoke  to  him  about 

1  Published  by  Longmans  &  Co.,  London. 


my  present  journey  in  search  of  the  true  Mount 
Sinai,  and  he  seems  a  good  deal  interested  in  it, 
and  half  inclined  to  go  with  me.  He  says  he  was 
in  Egypt  a  few  years  ago,  and  painted  several 
pictures  for  the  Viceroy,  by  whom  he  was  d6cor$. 
He  gave  me  his  card*  It  would  be  a  great  thing 
to  have  such  a  person  with  me  ;  but  this  is  build- 
ing castles  in  the  air  :  however,  just  now  there  is 
nothing  better  to  do.  The  weather  still  continues 
bad  ;  but  I  don't  think  the  wind  is  quite  so  strong : 
I  trust  it  will  be  better  to-morrow,  or  else  we  shall 
get  a  wetting  going  on  shore. 

December  20. — The  weather  is  still  so  bad  that 
the  passengers  have  signed  a  round- robin  asking 
for  the  Peninsular  and  Oriental  Company's  steam- 
tug  to  take  them  on  shore.  The  captain  was  equal 
to  the  occasion,  having  already  sent  for  it  I  I  told 
him  that  they  are  really  the  P.  and  0.  Company — 
the  "  Polite  and  Obliging."  Yesterday  a  Bengal 
officer — Colonel  Kobert  Morrieson — borrowed  my 
pamphlet,  "Mount  Sinai  a  Volcano,"  and  was  en- 
gaged all  day  reading  it  and  making  notes.  This 
morning  he  came  to  me,  and  said  he  was  so  pleased 
with  it,  that  he  was  ready  to  give  ten  napoleons 
towards  the  expenses  of  the  expedition.  This  offer 
was  quite   voluntary  on   his  part,  as  we  had  not 


spoken  a  word  together,  except  on  general  subjects, 
during  the  voyage — it  having  been  Milne,  in  fact, 
who  lent  him  the  pamphlet.  Colonel  Morrieson  has 
passed  it  on  to  an  American  artist  named  Wallin,  I 
believe,  who  has  come  to  Egypt  for  the  purpose  of 
sketching,  accompanied  by  a  Mr.  White,  who  is  said 
to  be  an  American  historical  painter  of  eminence. 
Mr.  Wallin  has  been  here  before.  He  speaks  as  if  he 
were  inclined  to  join  my  expedition,  on  account  of 
its  opening  a  new  field  to  him.  I  was  thinking  of 
going  to  the  Hotel  du  Nil  at  Cairo,  but  Colonel 
Morrieson  advised  me  not  to  do  so,  as  he  says  I 
ought  to  be  among  the  tourists,  some  of  whom 
might  be  inclined  to  join  me.  He  himself  is  going 
to  the  New  Hotel,  and  suggests  that  I  should  do 
the  same ;  the  difference  of  expense,  eight  shillings 
per  diem — sixteen  shillings  twice  told — instead  of 
twelve,  is  a  consideration.  Still,  his  suggestion  is 
a  good  one  and  deserving  of  consideration,  espe- 
cially as  coming  from  one  whose  generous  contribu- 
tion will  enable  me  to  bear  the  extra  expense. 

As  the  day  advanced  it  got  more  stormy,  so  that 
there  was  no  possibility  of  landing  in  small  boats : 
therefore,  at  three  o'clock,  the  steam-tug  came 
alongside,  and  took  us  all  and  our  baggage  on  shore. 
Before  leaving  the  ship,   for  fear  of  accidents,   I 


gave  my  letter  for  England  to  the  purser  to  put  in 
the  letter-box,  though  there  is  little  doubt  of  my 
being  able  to  write  after  landing.  On  reaching  the 
shore,  we  were  subjected  to  far  more  formalities  than 
on  former  occasions,  having  to  deliver  up  our  pass- 
ports at  the  Passport  Office,  whence  they  will  be 
taken  to  the  British  Consulate,  where  we  are  to  go 
for  them  on  Monday. 

We  did  not  reach  the  hotel  (Abbat's)  till  half- 
past  four  o'clock,  and  as  soon  as  we  had  seen  our 
rooms,  I  went  out  to  look  about  me,  it  being  too 
late  in  the  day  for  any  business  to  be  done.  Find- 
ing, however,  the  office  of  the  Austrian  Lloyd's 
open,  I  looked  in  on  my  old  friend  Signor  Battisti, 
who  was  very  glad  to  see  me,  and  with  whom  I 
had  a  long  talk  about  my  affairs.  He  told  me  that 
the  chief  of  Oppenheim's  house  here,  Mr.  Jacques 
Oppenheim,  our  friend  Mr.  Henry  Oppenheim's 
cousin,  is  at  Cairo,  but  a  younger  brother  of  his, 
Sebastian,  is  here  in  Alexandria.  Just  now  the 
firm  does  not  stand  so  well  with  the  Khddive,  in 
consequence  of  the  failure  of  his  last  loan ;  but  they 
are  trying  to  get  him  some  more  money,  and  so 
may  soon  be  in  favour  with  him  again.  Signor 
Battisti  did  not  see  any  difficulty  in  the  way  of  my 
getting  a  steamer  from  the  Khedive,  only  he  says 


he  thinks  I  shall  have  to  make  my  application 
through  General  Stanton.  This  I  doubt  much,  as 
I  do  not  expect  I  shall  be  likely  to  obtain  any 
more  assistance  from  Her  Majesty's  representative 
here,  than  I  obtained  from  Her  Majesty's  Govern- 
ment at  home,  Lord  Enfield  having  written  to  me 
from  the  Foreign  Office,  on  the  7th  November 
1873,  the  folio  wing  letter: — "In  reply  to  your 
letter  of  the  5th  instant,  requesting  letters  of  intro- 
duction to  Her  Majesty's  agent  and  Consul-General 
in  Egypt,  and  to  Her  Majesty's  Consul  at  Jerusa- 
lem, directing  these  gentlemen  to  use  their  friendly 
offices  with  the  local  Governments,  so  as  to  secure  to 
you  their  protection  and  assistance,  in  case  of  need, 
on  the  journey  you  are  about  to  undertake  into 
Arabia  Petrsea,  I  am  directed  by  His  Lordship  (Lord 
Granville)  to  acquaint  you  that  he  cannot  issue  in- 
structions to  Mr.  Vivian  and  Mr  Moore  to  ask  for 
facilities  on  your  behalf  which  are  not  granted  to 
other  travellers ;  but  his  Lordship  does  not  doubt  that 
you  will  receive  from  these  officers  all  the  assistance 
which  they  can  properly  afford." 

I  could  not  stay  long  with  Battisti,  as  he  was 
busy  with  the  Austrian  Lloyd's  steamer,  which 
leaves  early  on  Monday  morning.  So  I  took 
leave  and  went  to  the  post-office,  to  see  whether 


there  were  any  letters  for  Milne.  The  office  was 
shut  up,  but  the  clerk,  who  is  always  very  civil 
here,  looked  for  them,  but  there  were  none.  It 
was  now  five  o'clock,  and  all  the  offices  were  closed 
or  closing,  so  that  nothing  more  was  to  be  done 
to-day.  It  is  a  great  pity;  however,  I  must  see 
what  can  be  done  to-morrow  morning  before 

(     157    ) 



December  21. — This  morning  after  breakfast  my 
first  task  was  to  call  on  Messrs.  Tod,  Rathbone,  & 
Co.,  where  I  saw  Mr.  Mtiller,  and  also  his  partner, 
Mr.  Kay,  whose  acquaintance  I  made  one  day  in 
the  city  when  I  called  on  my  friend  Mr.  Tod. 
I  had  a  chat  with  them,  but  not  very  long,  on  ac- 
count of  their  being  busy  with  the  post  (though 
Sunday),  the  "  Simla  "  leaving  to-morrow  morning 
for  Brindisi  with  the  mails.  From  there  I  went  to 
church,  and  after  the  service,  Milne  and  I  went, 
on  Mr.  Kay's  invitation,  to  dine  with  him  and  Mr. 
Kay  at  Ramleh,  a  suburb  about  five  miles  from 
Alexandria,  where  most  of  the  merchants  now  live, 
instead  of  along  the  Canal,  where  they  formerly  did. 
There  is  a  railway  to  it,  the  fare  being  one  franc 
fifty  cents  each  way.  Mr.  Kay  is  a  very  intelli- 
gent man,  and  we  passed  a  very  agreeable  after- 
noon together.  We  met  there  a  clever  young 
architect,  a  Mr.  Clarke,  who  has  come  to  Egypt 

156  DISCO  VMi:  Y 

there  were  any  letter 
shut  up,  but  the  cler 
here,  looked  for  then 
was  now  five  o'clock,  t 
or  closing,  so  that  nc 
to-day.  It  is  a  great 
what  can  be  done 


e  clearly  that  it  ■will  require  a  good 
knee  and  management,  and  that  I 
in  too  great  hurry,  lest  I  make  a  false 

engaged  on  business,  my  companion 

and  amuses  himself  as  well  as  he 

■  it  a  very  difficult  matter,  as  he  has 

I>efore,  and  everything  is  new  and 

m.    I  cannot  take  him  on  my 

when  Mr.  Kay  asked  me  to  go> 

iitroduced  Milne  to  him  as  being 

once  kindly  invited  him.     Be- 

scrvice  to  me,  for  by  this  time 

ni,"  and  can  talk  for  me  when 

does  talk  too  1 

'>;it's  hotel  is  very  much  en- 
ince  you  were  here  in  1866. 
nide  Place  to  the  Place  de 
el  stands,  is  now  called 
is  well  paved  and  lighted, 
planted  with  trees.  The 
!  lighted ;  but  the-  streets 


anything  but  warm.  A  fe  w  days  before  I  left  England 
I  wrote  to  Mr.  H.  Oppenheim,  whose  acquaintance 
you  and  I  made  several  years  ago  at  dinner  at  our 
friend's  Mr.  J.  Tod's,  when,  you  will  recollect,  it  was 
proposed  I  should  join  the  Egyptian  Trading  Com- 
pany, in  the  establishment  of  which  I  had  been  so 
deeply  interested.  In  my  letter  I  told  him  what  I 
wanted  of  the  Khddive,  and  asked  him  to  write  to 
his  partners  or  managers  here,  desiring  them  to 
exert  their  influence  with  His  Highness  on  my 
behalf.  In  reply  he  told  me  he  had  written  to  his 
house  in  Egypt,  as  requested,  and  had  no  doubt 
they  would  be  able  to  obtain  what  I  desired.  At 
the  same  time  he  kindly  favoured  me  with  a  letter 
of  introduction  to  them.  This  morning,  then,  my 
first  duty  was  to  call  on  Messrs.  Oppenheim.  I 
saw  Mr.  L.  and  Mr.  S.  0.,  to  whom  I  presented  my 
letter  of  introduction.  They  were  both  very  civil, 
but  said  they  had  no  power  to  move  in  the  busi- 
ness, which  was  that  of  the  house  at  Cairo,  where 
whatever  is  to  be  done  will  be  done,  and  whither 
they  had  accordingly  forwarded  Mr.  H.  O.'s  letter. 
My  letter  of  introduction  was  in  like  manner 
returned  to  me  in  order  that  I  might  present  it  to 
Mr.  B.  at  Cairo. 

From  Messrs.  Oppeuheim's  I  went  to  the  British 

SOJOURN  IN  EG  YPT.  1 6 1 

Consulate  for  my  passport,  and  saw  Mr.  Stanley 
the  Consul,  who  was  very  kind  and  obliging  to 
you  and  me  on  our  last  visit  to  Alexandria,  and 
who  was  equally  so  to  me  on  the  present  occasion. 
He  gave  me  a  pass  at  the  Custom  House  for 
my  things  when  they  arrive,  which  I  handed 
over  to  Mr.  Kay,  as  I  do  not  intend  to  remain 
here.  At  the  Bank  of  Egypt  I  cashed  two  cir- 
cular notes,  receiving  for  them  a  fraction  over 
five  hundred  francs ;  and  then  I  called  on  Colonel 
Morrieson,  who  had  called  yesterday  on  me  at  the 
hotel  whilst  I  was  at  church,  and  who  now  kindly 
gave  me  his  subscription  of  two  hundred  francs. 

In  the  afternoon,  after  luncheon,  I  went  and 
called  on  General  Stanton,  who  received  me  ex- 
tremely cordially  as  an  old  acquaintance,  asking 
after  you  very  kindly,  &c.  He  said  he  had  seen 
me  in  church  yesterday,  though  I  did  not  see  him. 
He  starts  for  Cairo  to-morrow,  and  was  of  course 
very  busy ;  but  he  begged  me  not  to  hurry  away, 
and  talked  with  me  some  little  time  of  things  in 
general,  and  of  my  expedition  in  particular.  I 
gave  him  a  copy  of  my  pamphlet,  which  he  pro- 
mised to  look  at  on  his  way  to  Cairo.  We  did  not 
come  to  the  point — in  fact,  there  was  no  time  ;  but 
he  seemed  very  favourably  disposed  towards  me, 



and  on  the  subjects  on  which  we  spoke  together  he 
took  care  to  let  me  see  that  we  were  quite  cP  accord. 
On  one  important  point  he  asked  my  advice, 
namely,  as  to  the  putting  down  of  slavery  on  the 
Bahr  el  Ghazal,  the  western  arm  of  the  Nile.  On 
this  subject  I  came  out  strong  with  my  notions  of 
flooding  the  Libyan  Desert,  and  so  gaining  a  road 
to  the  interior,  to  which  he  listened  with  attention 
and  interest  I  shall  go  in  for  this  at  Cairo,  as  it 
is  a  most  important  matter.  General  Stanton 
was  obliged  to  leave  me  in  order  to  go  and  finish 
his  packing;  indeed,  he  was  called  away  by  the 
men  who  were  doing  up  the  cases.  He  said  he 
hoped  to  see  me  in  Cairo ;  expressed  his  regret  that 
he  could  not  invite  me  for  Christmas  Day,  as  he 
will  not  be  installed  in  his  new  house.  Altogether 
I  have  reason  to  be  satisfied  with  my  reception, 
and  augur  favourably  from  it  If  our  Foreign 
Secretary  has  not  written  to  him  in  my  favour,  at 
all  events  he  has  not  written  in  disfavour.  I  should 
not  be  surprised  if  the  General  has  been  told  to 
help  me  officiously. 

After  leaving  General  Stanton,  I  called  on  Dr. 
Mackie,  Dr.  Ogilvie%s  partner,  whom  I  asked  to  call 
on  me  this  evening  before  I  went  to  bed,  to  look  at 
my  foot*  which  has  gv>t  a  good  deal  inflamed.  When 
I  was  with  Signor  Battisti  we  spoke   of  Fedrigo 


Pasha,  who  was  formerly  a  captain  of  one  of  the 
Austrian  Lloyd's  steamers,  with  whom  I  made  the 
passage  from  Alexandria  to  Trieste  in  1854.  He 
is  now  an  Admiral  in  the  Khedive's  Navy.  He  is 
a  very  good  fellow,  just  as  simple  and  unassuming 
as  in  past  years,  and  Battisti  says  he  will  be  de- 
lighted to  see  me,  and  he  might  also  be  of  use  to 
me.  On  my  calling  on  Mr.  Robert  Fleming,  Mr. 
Alexander  Tod's  nephew  and  former  partner,  and 
a  friend  of  mine,  he  also  spoke  highly  of  Fedrigo 
Pasha,  and  gave  me  a  few  lines  to  him,  and  like- 
wise to  McKillop  Bey,1  director  of  harbours  and 
lighthouses,  a  warm-hearted  British  tar  (he  is  a 
captain  in  the  Royal  Navy),  and  a  regular  pusher 
if  only  he  takes  a  thing  up.  Not  wishing  to  lose 
this  chance,  I  called  twice  on  Fedrigo  Pasha,  but 
could  not  see  him,  and  as  I  intended  leaving  for 
Cairo  to-morrow,  I  was  obliged  to  content  myself 
with  leaving  my  card  and  Mr.  Fleming's  letter. 
The  latter  recommends  me  by  all  means  to  go  to 
Shepheard's,  and  not  to  the  New  Hotel,  which  is 
but  little  frequented  by  English  tourists,  among 
whom  it  is  my  object  to  make  my  expedition 
known,  and  of  whom,  he  says,  I  shall  see  more  in 
one  day  at  the  former,  than  in  a  month  at  the 
latter.     I  had  pretty  well  made  up  my  mind  to 

1  Since  created  a  Pasha. 


this  before.     The  expense   is  the  same  at  both, 
namely,  sixteen  shillings  per  day. 

It  is  very  fortunate  that  we  got  into  port  as  we 
did  on  Saturday  afternoon,  for  the  storm  was  more 
violent  than  has  been  known  here  for  many  years. 
There  was  a  small  schooner  wrecked  in  the  eastern 
harbour,  into  which  it  had  entered  by  mistake,  and 
one  man  was  drowned ;  the  rest  being  saved  from 
the  shore.  In  the  evening,  after  asking  Milne,  who 
had  just  come  in  from  witnessing  an  Arab  wed- 
ding procession,  to  take  my  letters  to  the  English 
post-office,  I  got  ready  to  receive  Dr.  Mackie 
when  he  came  to  see  my  leg.  I  was  sitting  in 
my  dressing-gown  awaiting  his  arrival,  when  the 
waiter  came  to  say  Fedrigo  Pasha  was  down-stairs 
at  dinner,  and  would  be  glad  to  see  me.  So  I  had 
to  dress  myself  and  go  down.  He  was  in  a 
private  room,  dining  with  a  Greek  gentleman.  My 
card  and  letter  had  only  been  given  to  him  after  he 
had  sat  down  to  dinner.  Of  course  I  took  no  dinner, 
as  I  had  dined ;  but  when  the  dessert  came,  I  ate 
a  couple  of  bananas  and  drank  a  glass  of  wine,  and 
then  we  had  coffee  and  cigars.  He  received  me  in 
the  most  friendly  way.  Some  men  assume  high 
manners  with  high  titles,  but  Fedrigo  was,  as 
Battisti  told  me,  just  the  same  as  when  I  knew  him 


twenty  years  ago  a  captain  in  the  Austrian  Lloyd's 
trading  service.  He  is  a  very  simple-minded 
man,  and  has  the  character  of  being  thoroughly 
honest  and  straightforward — rare  qualities  in  these 
countries.  His  wife,  who  is  lately  dead,  was  an 
Englishwoman,  and  he  has  lived  a  good  deal  in 
England,  where  he  went  to  superintend  the  build- 
ing of  some  of  the  Viceroy's  steamers.  Whilst 
sitting  at  table  in  company  with  the  Greek,  we 
could  only  converse  on  general  subjects ;  but  when 
Dr.  Mackie  was  announced,  I  took  Fedrigo  apart, 
and  had  a  few  minutes'  private  talk  with  him.  He 
said  that  the  two  persons  possessing  the  most  influ- 
ence with  the  Viceroy  are  Nubar  Pasha,  the  Foreign, 
and  Ismail  Pasha  the  Finance  Minister.  The  for- 
mer is  a  highly  accomplished  Armenian  Christian. 
He  is  the  man  for  me  to  make  interest  with,  and 
this  I  can  do  through  General  Stanton.  If  he 
will  not  speak  to  him  himself,  he  could  at  least 
give  me  an  introduction  to  him.  The  General 
stands  well  with  the  court,  and  a  word  from  him 
would  settle  the  matter.  From  what  I  gather 
from  all  this,  it  is  quite  clear  to  me  that  without 
General  Stanton's  help  or  countenance,  I  am  not 
likely  to  do  much,  if  anything  at  all,  with  the 
Khedive.    We  shall  see  how  things  go  on  at  Cairo. 


The  conversation  with  the  Greek  was  a  curious 
one.  From  Mount  Sinai  it  turned  on  various  sub- 
jects, and  at  length  on  the  meaning  of  the  word 
f  Christ,'  which  he  said  was  derived  from  xfwprw, 
*  good ' — the  old  error  explained  and  confuted  in  my 
work  "Jesus  the  Messiah  "  (p.  63).1  Of  course  I  was 
at  home  here,  and  came  out  very  strong.  Fedrigo 
said  very  little  on  the  subject,  but  opened  his  eyes 
very  wide.  I  fancy  I  left  them  both  impressed 
with  a  profound  conviction  of  my  immense  learn- 
ing 1  Dr.  Mackie  examined  my  ankle,  which  he 
found  a  good  deal  irritated,  and  prescribed  a  lotion 
for  it,  so  that  I  hope  it  will  soon  be  all  right  again. 
He  stayed  with  me  till  eleven  o'clock  chatting, 
and  would  not  accept  a  fee. 

Cairo,  December  23. — We  left  Alexandria  at 
9.50  a.m.,  and  arrived  at  Shepheard's  Hotel  at 
4.30  p.m.  It  was  a  delightful  day.  The  country 
is  so  wonderfully  improved  since  we  were  here  in 
1 866,  that  one  would  scarcely  fancy  one's  self  in 
Egypt.  I  shall  say  nothing  about  the  journey,  as 
I  think  I  will  write  an  article  about  it  to  the 
"  Athenaeum."  Cairo  too,  you  would  not  know, 
so  much  is  it  altered  for  the  better :  the  hotel  is 
also  vastly  improved.     The  manager,  Mr.  Gross, 

1  Published  by  TrUbner  &  Co.,  1872. 



knew  me  again,  and  so  did  some  of  the  waiters ; 
thus  I  am  quite  at  home.  Before  dinner,  Milne 
and  I  went  out  to  have  a  look  at  the  New  Hotel ; 
it  is  a  splendid  building,  which  will  cut  Shepheard's 
out  by  and  by ;  but  at  present  the  visitors  there 
seem  principally  foreigners.  Shepheard's  is  still  the 
headquarters  of  the  English  and  Americans,  and 
I  think  I  did  quite  right  in  coming  here ;  but  the 
expense  is  dreadful :  two  pounds  a  day  will  barely 
cover  it.  However,  it  would  be  the  same  at  the 
New  Hotel,  and  I  am  convinced  it  would  not  do 
for  me  to  go  to  the  Hotel  du  Nil.  The  Esbe- 
kiah  (square)  garden  in  front  of  our  hotel  is 
beautifully  laid  out  now,  and  there  was  a  band 
of  music  playing.  Fancy  our  being  received  with 
Auber's  'Dame  Blanche,'  which  they  began  playing 
when  we  entered  the  gardens ! 

After  dinner  I  made  the  acquaintance  of  Mr. 
Rowlatt,  the  manager  of  the  Bank  of  Egypt  at 
Alexandria,  who  happened  to  be  here.  He  was 
very  friendly,  and  introduced  me  to  Mr.  Holt,  the 
Cairo  manager.  He  recommended  me  to  send  my 
draft  on  the  Paymaster-General  home,  as  he  could 
not  cash  it  except  at  a  loss  of  two  per  cent. ;  so  I 
must  do  so  when  the  time  comes,  and  you  must 
send  me  circular  notes.     Mr.  Rowlatt  is  of  the  same 



opinion  as  my  friends  in  Alexandria,  which  is,  that 
General  Stanton  is  the  only  man  to  assist  me,  if 
he  ivill.  I  called  at  Cook's  the  Tourist's  office  ;  but 
Mr.  John  Cook  was  not  in.  I  shall  call  on  him 
again  to-morrow  morning,  as  he  is  leaving  in  the 
evening  for  England. 

December  24. — Mr.  Cook  will  not  be  here  till 
late  this  evening,  and  he  does  not  leave  till  Satur- 
day. I  called  this  morning  on  Mr.  Beyerld  and  Mr. 
Jacques  Oppenheim :  they  received  me  extremely 
well,  and  entered  at  once  into  my  plans,  about 
which  Mr.  Henry  Oppenheim  had  written  to  them. 
Mr.  Beyerl£  said  that  the  business  must  be  done 
through  Nubar  Pasha,  to  whom  he  would  introduce 
me.  He  said  he  was  going  to  see  his  Excellency 
this  morning,  and  would  speak  to  him  about  me, 
and  ask  him  to  let  me  have  an  audience  to-morrow. 
The  result  he  would  let  me  know  this  evening ;  and 
if  all  was  right,  he  would  call  for  me  to-morrow, 
and  take  me  with  him.  They  seemed  to  take  it  as 
a  matter  of  course,  appearing  to  have  no  misgivings 
— at  least,  so  it  struck  me.  But  Mr.  Beyerld  told 
me  it  might  be  a  matter  of  some  little  time,  as  his 
Highness  is  unwell  just  now,  so  much  so  as  not  to 
be  able  to  see  even  his  Ministers. 

On  my  way  to  Messrs.  Oppenheim,  I  called  on 


our  friend  Mr.  Rogers,  who  lives  next  door  but  one 
to  Shepheard's  Hotel.  He  returned  home  last  night 
from  his  trip  up  the  Nile,  and  was  gone  out  riding; 
so  I  left  my  card.  But  here  a  most  curious  thing 
occurred.  The  person  to  whom  I  spoke  in  the 
courtyard  of  the  Consulate,  was  a  large,  portly, 
well-dressed  native,  a  Syrian,  whom  I  took  for  the 
Consul's  dragoman,  or  something  of  the  sort. 

He  asked  me  if  I  knew  the  Consul,  how  long  I  had 
been  here,  where  I  had  made  Mr.  Rogers's  acquaint- 
ance, &c,  speaking  in  very  good  English ;  and  then, 
on  my  telling  him,  as  if  recognising  me,  he  asked 
who  was  my  dragoman  ?  On  my  mentioning  Mikhail 
Henfs  name,  he  asked  whether  I  had  ever  been 
at  Shechem  (Nablus),  and  to  the  Samaritan  syna- 
gogue ;  to  which  I  replied,  Yes,  I  had,  and  that  I 
had  reason  to  remember  it,  for  that  I  had  tumbled 
down  the  steps ;  whereupon  he  exclaimed,  "  Give 
me  your  hand,  sir :  you  are  the  gentleman  to  whom 
I  gave  some  brandy  after  your  fall."  You  may 
imagine  my  surprise  at  hearing  this.  I  learned 
afterwards  from  Mr.  Rogers  that  he  is  YakAb  esh 
Shellaby  (-jJulM  <—y*))>  the  head  of  the  Samari- 
tan community,  who  is  come  here  on  a  visit 
to  him !  Of  course  we  had  a  long  chat  to- 
gether,  and  on   my  telling  him  I  was   going  in 


search  of  the  true  Mount  Sinai,  he  said  he  would 
go  with  me ;  to  which,  of  course,  I  replied,  Inshal- 
lah  I  But,  seriously  speaking,  he  would  not  make 
a  bad  dragoman.  Rogers  tells  me  he  is  a  highly  re- 
spectable man.  It  would  be  a  curious  thing  if,  sup- 
ported by  the  Jews,  and  accompanied  by  the  chief 
of  the  Samaritans,  I  went  to  correct  the  error  of  the 
Christian  tradition  respecting  the  position  of  the 
Mountain  of  the  Law.  I  really  should  be  very  glad 
for  this  Yaktib  esh  Shellaby  to  go  with  us.  You 
know  there  are  only  a  few  Samaritans  remaining, 
and  their  history  is  most  remarkable.1  Their  version 
of  the  Pentateuch — it  is  not  a  version,  but  a  text — 

1  The  following  interesting  description  of  the  Samaritans  of 
Nablua  is  given  by  Mrs.  Isabel  Burton  in  her  "  Inner  Life  of 
Syria  "  (published  in  1876) : — "  In  the  afternoon  we  rode  up  to  Mount 
Gerizim,  by  far  the  most  interesting.  It  is  a  difficult  ascent  of  an 
hour  and  a  half.  On  the  top  are  the  ruins  of  a  Christian  church, 
and  a  temple,  marked  by  a  little  *  wely,'  as  English  travellers  say, 
and  an  immense  dSbris.  The  mountain  is  entirely  covered  with 
stones.  Here  are  encamped  at  the  top  all  the  Samaritans  now  exist- 
ing on  the  face  of  the  earth.  They  number  135,  and  are  governed  by 
their  Chief  and  High  Priest,  Ya'akub  Shalabi." 

[Miss  M.  E.  Rogers  writing  to  me  upon  this  subject  says  :  "  Mrs. 
Burton  calls  Yakub  the  Chief  and  *  High  Priest  '  of  the  Samaritans. 
He  is  certainly  the  Chief  or  Sheikh  of  his  people.  Jacob  Cohen  is 
the  Priest,  but  as  he  is  a  younger  man  than  Yakub  esh  Shellaby  ; 
he  looks  up  to  him  and  is  guided  by  him."] 

"  Here  live,  entirely  apart  from  the  rest  of  the  world,  eighty  males 
and  fifty  females,  including  children,  and  here  they  celebrate  their 
Passover  on  the  3d  of  May.  We  were  invited,  and  wished  for  an 
excuse  to  remain,  but  if  I  felt  well  before  the  3d  of  May  we  were 
bound  to  proceed. 

"  They  showed  us  a  small  Square  with  stone  walls,  where  they 
celebrate  their    Passover  exactly  as  the  Old   Testament   dictates 


is  generally  believed  to  be  more  correct  than  that 
of  the  Jews.  Both  are  in  Hebrew,  the  Samaritan 
being  in  the  older  character.  As  long  ago  as  1836 
I  published  in  the  '  British  Magazine '  my  opinion 
in  favour  of  the  former,  which  is  nearly,  if  not  quite, 
the  text  from  which  the  Septuagint  Greek  version 
was  made. 

After  leaving  Oppenheim's  I  took  a  donkey-boy 
— not  a  donkey,  for  you  will  recollect  how  the  last 
time  I  was  here  a  donkey  quietly  shot  me  over 
his  head,  and  after  depositing  me  in  front  at  his 
feet,  looked  down  on  me  with  an  air  of  great  sur- 
prise, as  much  as  to  say,  What  are  you  doing 
there  ?     He  showed  me  the  way  to  Messrs.  Tod, 

(Exod.  xii  1-13).  From  here  there  is  a  beautiful  view  of  the  Sea, 
and  Moab,  and  the  Plain  ;  also  of  Jacob's  Well  and  Joseph's  Tomb 
beneath.  The  Samaritans  were  very  hospitable.  I  noticed  that 
they  did  not  like  my  dog  to  go  near  them  ;  and  suspecting  that  it 
rendered  them  *  unclean,'  according  to  their  faith,  I  tied  him  up. 

"  I  will  describe  the  Samaritan  women's  dress,  and  will  take  for  a 
model  the  wife  of  Ya'akub  Shalabi  "  [who  is  now  in  England,  and 
who  writes  to  me  to  say  how  charmed  he  is  with  Mrs.  Burton's 
graphic  description  of  his  wife's  costume,  and  adds  that  her  name  is 
'Shemseh,'  i.e.,  sunny],  "who  was  more  richly  dressed  than  the 
others.  She  wore  large  leather  6hoes,  cotton  trousers  gathered  in 
at  the  ankle,  red-striped  silk  petticoat  to  the  knee,  a  jacket  or  bodice 
over  it.  She  had  on  five  jackets  of  different  colours,  open  at  the 
bosom,  and  each  was  so  arranged  as  to  let  the  border  of  its  neigh- 
bour be  seen.  A  girdle  was  around  her  waist,  a  necklace  of  chains 
clasped  her  throat,  and  another  of  large  gold  coins  hung  round  her 
neck.  Her  hair  was  not  shaved  or  tucked  under  like  our  Jewesses, 
but  dressed  in  a  thousand  little  plaits  down  her  back,  a  thousand 
worsted  plaits  to  imitate  hair  covered  her  own  hair,  and  hung  down 
her  back  below  the  waist,  and  were  fastened  off  with  and  covered 


Rathbone,  &  Co/s,  where  I  saw  Mr.  Wolff  (a  Ger- 
man), their  agent,  with  whom  I  arranged  about  send- 
ing me  on  my  letters  as  soon  as  received.  I  then 
went  to  the  American  Consulate  to  see  Mr.  Wal- 
mass,  to  whom  I  had  an  introduction  from  my  good 
old  friend  Mr.  Hugh  Thurburn  ; 1  but  unfortunately 
he  has  gone  to  Constantinople.  As  I  was  not  to 
see  Mr.  Rogers  till  the  afternoon,  I  thought  I  would 
finish  my  business  with  the  Americans ;  so  I  went 
with  my  donkey-boy  to  find  out  Dr.  Lansing  and 
his  colleagues,  on  whom  Mr.  Fleming  had  suggested 

with  Bpangles  and  coins  of  value.  Upon  her  head  she  wore  a  coat 
of  mail  of  gold,  and  literally  covered  with  gold  coins,  of  which  a 
very  large  one  dangled  on  her  forehead.  She  wore  diamond  and 
enamel  earrings,  and  a  string  of  pearls  coquettishly  arranged  on  one 
side  of  her  head  in  a  festoon.  A  yellow  handkerchief  covered  her 
head,  but  hung  down  loose  upon  her  shoulders.  Her  eyebrows 
were  plucked  out,  and  in  a  straight  line  in  their  place  patterns  were 
thickly  marked  in  ink.  I  thought  wrongly  that  they  were  in 
Hebrew  characters,  but  they  presented  that  appearance.  A  silver 
charm,  like  a  jewel  etui,  and  a  little  silver  book  containing  a  charm, 
she  wore  upon  her  heart.  I  forgot  to  add  a  third  thick  chain  of  gold 
around  her  neck,  and  that  all  the  head  ornaments  were  surmounted 
by  a  large  crescent  studded  with  jewels.  .  .  .  We  then  went  to 
Ya'akub  Shalabi's  house  in  the  town.  He  took  us  to  their  present 
synagogue,  a  miserable  small  groined  room,  hung  with  a  few  indif- 
ferent lamps.  A  recess  was  hidden  by  a  long  white  counterpane, 
which  had  a  Hebrew  inscription  worked  upon  it  in  gold,  hiding 
another  curtain  350  years  old,  also  inscribed.  He  then  sent  out  of 
the  room  a  few  Samaritans,  and  showed  us  a  cupboard  containing 
several  old  MSS.,  kept  in  gold  and  silver  cases,  ancient,  carved,  and 
scroll  shaped.  One  is  held  most  sacred  ;  it  is  a  copy  of  the  ancient 
Jewish  law,  written  on  vellum,  and  said  to  be  3374  years  old.  This 
venerable  Pentateuch  dates  1 500  B.C.,  to  Abishua,  son  of  Phineas, 
son  of  Eliezar,  son  of  Aaron  (Ezra  vii.  5)." 

1  Mr.  Thurburn's  much  lamented  death  has  since  occurred. 


I  should  call.  They  are  the  Presbyterian  mis- 
sionaries, who  have,  as  it  were,  taken  the  place  of 
our  Church  missionaries  since  the  death  of  Dr. 
Lieder;  whose  widow  you  will  recollect  was  so  kind 
to  us  when  we  were  here  some  years  ago. 

After  wandering  about  from  pillar  to  post,  I  was 
taken  to  the  German  mission  house,  where  I  saw 
a  Dr.  Trautvetter,  with  whom,  being  pretty  well 
knocked  up  by  this  time,  I  sat  talking  a  consider- 
able time  about  Mount  Sinai.  Did  not  he  open 
his  eyes  ?  When  at  last  I  was  about  to  leave,  he 
thought  he  might  improve  the  occasion  by  suggest- 
ing that  in  thus  attending  to  the  letter  of  Scripture 
I  might  be  neglecting  its  spirit — the  more  import- 
ant matter.  But  I  replied  that  it  appeared  to  me 
to  be  quite  as  important  to  learn  what  the  letter 
was  truly,  of  which  we  had  to  know  the  spirit,  or 
we  might  perchance  fall  into  error  as  to  this 
latter.  We  parted,  however,  on  the  best  of  terms, 
and  he  expressed  himself  most  anxious  to  know 
the  result  of  my  investigations,  kindly  wishing  me 
every  success,  &c. 

I  then  came  home  to  my  lunch  (the  table  cThdte 
breakfast),  where  I  met  Milne,  who  had  been  on  a 
voyage  of  discovery  by  himself  half  over  Cairo ; 
and  among  other  places,  he  discovered  that  he  had 
got  into  a  mosque,  where  they  had  led  him  into 


all  sorts  of  places  one  after  the  other,  making  him 
pay  bakshish — a  franc — for  each.  He  appeared  to 
be  amazingly  amused  with  himself,  as  much  as  any- 
th  ing  at  allowing  himself  to  be  so  robbed.  If  he  likes 
it,  it  is  not  my  affair  ;  only  I  laughingly  told  him 
that  if  he  went  on  in  this  manner  I  should  have  to 
take  his  money  from  him  and  ' write  to  his  mother' 
about  him.  He  puts  me  in  mind  of  Mr.  Latimer 
Clarke,  whom  you  and  I  met  here  on  his  first  visit 
to  Egypt.  Everything  is  so  entirely  new  to  Milne, 
that  he  really  does  not  know  where  he  is  or  what 
he  is  about.  Besides  he  is  only  three-and-twenty, 
and  though  very  well-informed  on  many  subjects, 
he  is  as  green  as  grass  on  others. 

I  learned  at  the  hotel  that  Mr.  Rogers 1  had  called 
on  me  while  I  was  out :  he  had  evidently  lost  not 
a  moment's  time  after  his  return  home.  When 
luncheon  was  finished  I  went  off"  to  him  again.  He 
received  me  in  the  most  friendly  manner,  nothing 
could  possibly  be  more  cordial,  introducing  me  to 
his  wife,  and  not  leaving  me  many  minutes  before  he 
invited  me  to  eat  my  Christmas  dinner  with  them, 
in  which  invitation  Mrs.  Eogers  joined.  He  had, 
in  fact,  called  on  me  for  the  purpose  of  inviting  me. 
I  told  him  of  Mr.  Milne  being  witk  me,  when  they 

1  Mr.  Rogers  is  now  Director  of  the  Ministry  of  Public  Instruction 
in  Egypt 


kindly  invited  him  likewise.  We  had  a  long 
friendly  chat  about  old  times,  and  I  told  him  about 
Harran  and  the  new  "  tradition." 

The  story  of  Harran  is  excessively  curious,  and 
is  besides  most  pertinent  to  the  present  question  of 
the  true  position  of  Mount  Sinai.  In  my  "  Origines 
Biblicsa  "  I  contended  that  the  Jews  having  during 
their  captivity  beyond  the  Euphrates  become  ac- 
quainted with  the  celebrated  city  of  Harran  in 
Mesopotamia,  fell  into  the  not  unnatural  error  of 
supposing  that  city  to  be  the  Haran  of  Genesis ; 
an  error  which  was  the  more  readily  committed 
because  the  Greek  word  Mesopotomia  is  an  almost 
literal  translation  of  the  Hebrew  term  Aram  Na- 
karaim,  "  Aram,"  or  Syria,  "  of  the  Two  Rivers  ; " 
which  two  rivers,  however,  I  proved  to  be  the 
"  Abana  and  Pharpar,  rivers  of  Damascus,"  and  not 
the  great  rivers  Euphrates  and  Tigris.  This  was 
in  1834.  In  1852  a  village  called  Harran  was  dis- 
covered by  the  Rev.  Joseph  Leslie  Porter  precisely 
where  eighteen  years  previously  I  had  said  it  ought 
to  be  looked  for,  without  his  being  at  all  conscious 
of  the  importance  of  his  discovery  ;  and  nine  years 
afterwards,  namely  in  1861,  my  wife  and  I  went 
to  the  spot  to  verify  my  identification  of  it,  just 
as  I  now  propose  visiting  the  true  Mount  Sinai. 

1 7  6  DISCO  VER  Y  OF  MO  UNT  SINAI. 

Of  our  pilgrimage  to  Harran  a  narrative  was  given 
by  my  wife  in  her  work  "Jacob's  Flight."  At  Harran 
we  discovered  a  well,  which  we  named  "  Rebekah's 
Well,"  because  it  was  in  my  opinion  that  at  which 
the  daughter  of  Bethuel  was  met  by  Abraham's 
steward.1    At  that  time  no  designation  of  any  kind 
had  been  given  to  this  well  by  the  people  themselves; 
and,  though  we  were  most  minute  in  our  inquiries,  we 
could  not  learn  that  any  history  or  tradition  whatever 
was  attached  either  to  the  well  or  to  the  troughs  near 
it  used  for  watering  cattle,  as  it  is,  in  fact,  expressly 
recorded  in  Mrs.  Beke's  work.     Indeed,  when  we 
first  arrived  at  Harran,  the  people  of  the  village 
denied  altogether  the  existence  of  any  well  what- 
ever, as  our  old  friend  Dr.  Wetzstein,  who   was 
with  us,  can  testify.     It  is  scarcely  necessary  to 
add  that  the  inhabitants  of  Harran  had  not  the 
remotest  idea  of  their  village  having  been  the  habi- 
tation of  El  Khalil,  "  The  Friend  of  God,"  as  the 
Patriarch  Abraham  is  usually  called.     But   they 
were  not  slow  to  adopt  my  identification  of  it ; 
and  when  Major   Wilson,   B.E.    (in    1865),   and 
Mr.  John  Macgregor,  of  the  "  Rob  Roy,"  visited 
Harran  in  December  1868,  just  seven  years  after 
my  wife  and  I  were  there,  he  was  shown  what 

1  Gen.  xxiv.  10-20. 

HA  RAN  OF  THE  BIBLE.  177 

he  described  in  the  "  Kecord  "  newspaper,  as  a  very 
curious  well  called  "  Abraham's  Well,"  adding  that 
he  had  never  met  with  stones  and  cistern  more 
worn  than  those;  the  well  thus  shown  to  him  as 
"Abraham's  Well "  by  the  canny  natives  being  our 
"Rebekah's  Well"  which  my  wife  discovered  in 
1 86 1.  But  this  is  not  all ;  two  years  later,  when 
Captain  Burton  was  Consul  at  Damascus,  he  wrote 
in  the  "  Athenaeum  "  that  he  knew  the  Haran  well 
to  be  called  "Abraham's  Well"  by  many  Syrian 
Moslems  who  had  been  to  that  place,  and  who 
certainly  never  heard  of  Dr.  Beke's  visit  to  it  in 
1 86 1.  And  since  then,  on  his  return  to  England, 
he  informed  me  in  person  that  the  Moslems  of 
other  places  besides  Damascus,  all  speak  of  "  Abra- 
ham's Well "  at  Haran,  as  a  matter  of  notoriety  ! 

The  local  tradition  appears  thus  to  have  been  im- 
mediately set  on  foot ;  and  within  ten  years  of  the 
time  when  I  made  them  acquainted  with  it,  my 
identification  of  the  place  has  come  to  be  regarded 
as  a  notorious  "  fact,"  and  I,  its  originator,  am  lost 
sight  of  I  This  serves  to  illustrate  how  "  tradi- 
tions "  originate,  and  consequently  how  little  value 
they  possess  in  themselves,  however  long  they  may 
have  remained  unquestioned. 

Just  before  leaving  Mr.  Rogers,  some  ladies  and 



Mr.  Clarke,  the  Consular  Chaplain,  came  in  for  the 
purpose  of  rehearsing  the  hymn  for  to-morrow's 
service.  But  before  doing  so,  I  said  a  few  words 
to  my  friend  about  my  wish  for  a  steamer,  and  that 
General  Stanton  might  assist  me  officieusement 
with  the  Government.  I  gave  him  a  copy  of  my 
pamphlet,  which  I  requested  him  to  look  over  at 
once,  in  order  that  he  might  be  able  to  speak  to 
General  Stanton  on  the  subject.  I  had  given  one 
also  to  Mr.  Beyerld,  that  he  might  show  it  to 
Nubar  Pasha.  I  must  not  forget  to  mention  that 
I  also  spoke  to  him  about  the  inundation  of  the 
Libyan  Desert  as  a  means  of  abolishing  the  slave 
trade,  and  of  enabling  the  Khedive  to  get  near  to 
Darf&r  and  Kordofan.  This  seemed  to  interest 
Mr.  Beyerl^  more  than  the  slave  trade !  I  fancy 
I  shall  make  something  of  this.  M.  de  Lesseps  is 
here,  having  arrived  yesterday  in  company  with  Mr. 
Rogers.  After  my  visit  to  the  latter  I  came  home 
to  my  hotel,  and  have  been  "  in  my  key/"  the  whole 
afternoon,  first  taking  a  cup  of  coffee  and  a  cigar, 
then  a  nap  of  an  hour  and  a  half,  and  then  writing 
this  long  letter  to  you.  I  think  I  have  done  a 
good  day's  work  on  the  whole.  Poor  Rogers 
suffers  much  from  Nile  boils:  this  year  he  had 
no  less  than  one  hundred  and  ten  opened  with 


the  lancet.  That  is  living  in  Egypt  for  some- 
thing ! 

This  afternoon  Milne  found  his  way  to  the 
museum  at  Boulak,  which  he  went  over,  only  pay- 
ing one  franc.  This  he  looks  on  as  a  great  feat : 
he  laughs  at  himself  for  being  so  egregiously 
swindled  this  morning,  and  says  he  almost  swore 
he  would  shut  himself  up  in  his  room  at  the  hotel, 
and  not  leave  it  till  I  was  ready  to  go  to  Mount 
Sinai.  He  is  a  most  amusing  fellow,  and  also  very 
useful.  He  has  brought  drawing  materials  with 
him,  and  at  Alexandria,  whilst  I  went  to  General 
Stanton's,  he  went  on  and  made  a  drawing  of 
Pompey's  Pillar.  So  if  I  do  not  take  an  artist 
with  me,  he  will  be  able  to  help  me  in  this  respect 

And  now  I  have  to  tell  you  some  good  news. 
This  afternoon  Mr.  Beyerld  called  on  me  to  ap- 
point to-morrow  morning  for  my  interview  with 
Nubar  Pasha.  The  porter  tells  me  he  came  while 
I  was  out:  it  may,  however,  have  been  while  I 
was  in  Milne's  room  next  to  mine,  into  which  I 
went  for  a  few  minutes  after  I  had  finished  writing 
to  you.  Be  this  as  it  may,  he  left  his  card.  What- 
ever may  be  the  result  of  my  audience,  it  is  a  great 
step  to  be  at  once  brought  into  personal  commu- 


nication  with  the  most  powerful  man  in  Egypt. 
Should  he  be  favourable,  and  obtain  me  the  steamer, 
there  would  still  be  much  delay  in  such  a  country 
as  this.  But  here  "  Admiral "  Fedrigo  and  "  Cap- 
tain "  Mackillop — Fedrigo  Pasha,  and  Mackillop 
Bey>  the  titles  correspond — would  be  of  service  to 
me  in  pushing  matters  on,  especially  Mackillop,  if 
what  they  say  of  him  be  true.  Altogether,  I  trust 
I  am  going  on  well ;  and  I  think  you  will  agree 
with  me  that  I  have  not  been  dilatory.  I  do 
not  believe  myself  that  I  have  lost  a  moment. 
And  now  I  have  nothing  more  to  say  to-night, 
except  to  wish  you  from  the  bottom  of  my  heart  a 
merry  and  happy  Christmas,  and  a  still  happier 
New  Year.  If  it  please  God  to  bring  me  home  iu 
safety,  I  think  I  shall  have  good  and  profitable 
work  for  the  remainder  of  my  days.  For  my  book 
"  Sinai  Eegained "  must  become  a  popular  work  ; 
and  if  it  does,  so  will  a  larger  work  on  the  history 
of  Genesis  and  Exodus,  which  I  purpose  writing 
afterwards — a  second  edition,  in  fact,  of  "Origines 

Milne  is  off  to  the  theatre  to-night.  He  is  en- 
joying himself  with  all  his  might.  It  does  one 
good  to  witness  it ;  only  I  have  to  lecture  him  a 
little  against  coming  it  too  strong.    He  did  not  go 


after  all  to  the  theatre,  but  remained  in  his  room 
writing  to  his  mother. 

December  25,  1873. — A  merry  Christmas  to  you 
and  a  happy  New  Year.  The  same  to  Mrs.  Lau- 
rence-Levi,  and  also  to  master  prinny  (our 
doggy),  as  he  is  one  of  the  family,  and  to  Teddy 
likewise,  who,  I  conclude,  is  spending  his  holidays 
with  you.  I  hope  he  is  a  good  boy,  and  that  he 
has  made  more  progress  last  half.  I  got  up  early 
to  look  out  my  things  for  this  evening,  and  also  to 
sew  the  elastic  band  of  my  pocket-book,  which  has 
come  undone.  On  looking  into  my  work-bag,  I  have 
found  nothing  but,  to  me,  invisible  needles  and  in- 
visible thread,  which  it  is  quite  beyond  my  powers 
to  make  use  of,  and  almost  even  to  feel.  I  do  not 
know  who  put  them  up  for  me.  I  want  needle  and 
thread  that  I  can  lay  hold  of.  If  Milne  has  not 
any,  I  must  buy  some.     My  ankle  is  much  better. 

At  9. 1 5  a.  m.  Mr.  Beyerl^  called  in  his  carriage 
to  take  me  to  Nubar  Pasha.  We  were  at  once 
shown  in,  and  found  his  Excellency  sitting  on  the 
divan  with  an  Englishman,  named  Norris.  He  at 
once  rose,  shook  hands  with  us,  and  relinquished 
his  place  to  me,  taking  a  chair  by  my  side,  or 
rather  in  front  of  me.  He  began  the  conversation 
iu  English,  when  I  said  that,  if  he  preferred  it,  we 


would  speak  French,  which  he  talks  better  than 
English,  though  he  quite  understood  this  language. 
After  a  few  words  of  general  conversation,  we  spoke 
of  my  expedition,  with  the  general  purport  of  which 
he  was  quite  aufait.  My  pamphlet,  "  Sinai  a  Vol- 
cano," was  lying  on  the  divan  by  the  side  of  where 
I  sat.  We  then  came  to  the  object  of  my  visit,  when 
he  at  once  said  that  the  Viceroy  had  no  steamers  in 
the  Red  Sea,  only  one  stationed  between  Massowah 
and  some  place  I  did  not  catch  the  name  of;  but  I 
think  it  was  Berbera.  The  service  of  the  Red  Sea 
is  performed  by  steamers  belonging  to  a  company, 
which  has  succeeded  the  Aziziah.  He  feared  there 
would  be  great  difficulty  in  doing  what  I  wished. 
The  company's  vessels  might  be  inclined  to  leave 
me  at  some  place  on  the  Arabian  coast ;  but  this, 
I  said,  would  be  worse  than  proceeding  direct  from 
Suez  by  land.  I  suggested  the  importance  of  my 
expedition,  its  exceptional  character,  &c. ;  but  there 
was  no  moving  him.  After  sitting  some  time  I 
rose  to  take  leave,  when  I  suggested  that  he  might 
perhaps  be  induced  to  change  his  opinion  on  reflec- 
tion. But  to  this  he  only  shrugged  his  shoulders, 
saying  he  did  not  see  how  it  could  be.  So  I  took 
my  leave  and  came  away.  I  must  mention  that  we 
had  coffee  brought  soon  after  we  came  in ;  pipes 


were  not   offered,   though   Nubar  Pasha  himself 
smoked  a  cigarette.     So  ends  act  the  first. 

Mr.  BeyerW  brought  me  back  home.  On  the 
way  he  said  that  Nubar  Pasha  had  expressed  him- 
self to  the  same  effect  when  he  called  on  him  yes- 
terday. He  regretted  that  we  had  not  succeeded, 
and  said  he  should  at  all  times  be  at  my  service, 
and  ready  to  assist  me  in  any  way  in  his  power. 
Of  course  he  did  not,  any  more  than  myself,  look 


on  this  decision  as  final.  General  Stanton  might 
be  able  to  induce  him  to  change  his  mind,  or 
rather  to  see  things  in  a  different  light.  Milne  was 
waiting  for  me  outside  the  hotel,  and  said  YakAb  esh 
Shellaby  had  just  been  to  call  on  me,  and  had  been 
talking  with  him.  We  went  out  to  see  whether  he 
was  there,  when  Mr.  Norris  came  up.  He  had  been 
speaking  with  Nubar  Pasha,  or  rather  Nubar  Pasha 
had  been  speaking  with  him  about  me  after  I  had 
left,  and  seemed,  he  said,  to  be  much  interested  in 
my  expedition.  He  added,  I  must  not  take  "  No  " 
for  an  answer,  and  hinted,  rather  significantly,  that 
I  should  try  higher  up,  meaning  of  course  that  I 
should  get  General  Stanton  to  interest  himself  for 
me.  So  it  comes  to  this,  that  the  Consul-General 
is  my  only  card,  and  without  him  I  lose  my  game. 
When  the  time  came  we  went  to  church,  ser- 


vice  being  held  in  a  room  at  the  New  Hotel. 
We  met  Mr.  Rogers  outside,  with  whom  I 
stood  talking  for  a  few  minutes  before  service 
began.  As  we  came  out,  General  Stanton,  who 
had  sat  on  the  opposite  side  to  me,  preceded  me 
by  a  few  paces.  I  saw  him  hang  back  till  I  came 
out,  when  he  crossed  over  and  came  to  me  holding 
out  his  hand,  and  then  of  his  own  accord  intro- 
duced me  to  Mrs.  Stanton — forgetting,  I  suppose, 
that  you  and  I  had  had  the  pleasure  of  visiting  Mrs. 
Stanton  when  we  were  in  Egypt  in  1866.  Of 
course  there  was  no  time  for  conversation,  but  I 
managed  to  introduce  Mr.  Milne  to  them,  and  so 
we  parted.  We  got  back  to  our  hotel  in  time  for 
luncheon,  on  my  coming  out  from  which  Mr. 
Frank  Dillon's  card  was  brought  to  me.  He  was 
waiting  outside,  and  I  went  to  him,  and  we  had  a 
long  friendly  talk  :  he  asked  after  you  very  kindly. 
Milne  had  been  commissioned  by  Mr.  Waller,  the 
American  artist  with  whom  we  were  on  board  the 
"  Simla,"  and  who  is  staying  in  our  hotel,  to  ask 
me  to  come  and  see  his  pictures,  so  I  took  Dillon 
with  me  and  introduced  him.  He  is  stopping  at 
the  Hotel  du  Nil,  where  I  have  promised  to  go  and 
see  him.  Then  Mr.  John  Cook,  who  is  also  staying 
at  this  hotel,  stopped  me,  and  politely  offered  to 


take  charge  of  anything  for  England.     I  arranged 
to  go  and  see  him  to-morrow. 

Things  do  not  look  so  bright  as  they  did  yester- 
day, but  I  am  not  at  all  discouraged.  I  have  now 
broken  the  ice.  I  have  the  entr&e  to  Nubar  Pasha, 
and  can  now  ask  General  Stanton  to  say  a  word 
in  my  favour.  If  I  had  asked  him  to  introduce  me 
to  the  Minister,  he  might  have  made  difficulties. 
I  shall  be  hearing  from  you  to-morrow  or  the 
next  day,  and  I  trust  I  may  have  good  news 
from  you.  At  half-past  six,  for  seven,  Milne 
and  I  dined  with  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Rogers.  There 
were  present  only  the  artist,  Carl  Haag,  who 
has  been  up  the  Nile  with  Rogers,  a  Madame 
Biichner,  and  YakAb  esh  Shellaby.  We  passed 
a  very  pleasant  evening,  leaving  at  eleven  o'clock. 
Mrs.  Rogers  is  a  very  nice  little  woman,  a  good  deal 
like  your  friend  (?)  Commissary  Furse's  wife  in  man- 
ner and  figure,  if  not  exactly  in  face,  only,  if  any- 
thing, shorter  and  stouter  :  if  she  goes  on,  she  will 
soon  equal  Mrs.  Robinson  of  Mauritius.  We  had  the 
orthodox  roast  Turkey,  and  plum-pudding  and  mince 
pies,  with  plenty  of  champagne.  In  the  evening 
two  or  three  French  (or  foreign)  ladies  joined 
the  party,  and  a  Russian  artist,  who  played  to  us 
several   times   on  the  piano  very   nicely   indeed. 


Altogether,  we  passed  a  very  pleasant  Christmas. 
[Unhappily  the  last  Dr.  Beke  lived  to  spend.]  Our 
only  regret  was,  that  you  were  not  with  me  as 
at  Damascus.  I  invited  myself  to  dine  with  Kogers 
this  day  twelve  years  again ! 

December  26. — I  got  up  this  morning  none  the 
worse  for  my  holiday-making.  At  ten  o'clock  I 
went  to  the  Consulate  and  had  a  quiet  talk  with 
Mr.  Rogers.  Of  course  he  can  do  nothing,  and  I 
explained  at  starting  that  I  did  not  speak  to  him 
as  Consul,  but  as  an  old  friend,  whose  advice  I  am 
in  need  of.  He  seemed  to  think  that  General 
Stanton  might  perhaps  be  induced  to  interfere 
on  my  behalf,  and  he  gave  me  a  valuable  hint. 
The  Viceroy  has  several  steam-tugs  in  the  Suez 
Canal,  one  of  which  might  be  big  enough  for  my 
purpose,  as  they  are  in  the  habit  of  carrying  pas- 
sengers ;  so  that  if  the  Viceroy  should  object  to  give 
me  a  big  steamer,  he  might  at  all  events  let  me  have 
one  of  these  little  ones.  As  he  said  it  was  now  a 
good  time  to  see  General  Stanton,  I  went  from 
the  Consulate  direct  to  his  house,  which  is  close  by 
on  the  other  side  of  the  Esbekiah.  And  here 
begins  act  the  second  of  my  historical  drama  1 
General  Stanton  received  me  in  a  more  than 
courteous    manner.      He    was    writing    a    letter, 


which  he  asked  my  permission  to  finish,  offering 
me  a  cigar  meanwhile ;  and  when  he  had  sent 
that  off,  he  began  talking  of  my  expedition  in 
the  most  friendly  manner.  He  had  read  my 
pamphlet  halfway  through  in  the  train  from 
Alexandria,  and  as  far  as  he  had  gone  he  thought 
my  reasons  were  most  cogent.  We  discussed  the 
matter  for  some  little  time,  looking  at  the  map, 
and  I  pointing  out  the  site  of  Mount  Sinai ;  and 
then  I  proceeded  to  the  object  of  my  visit.  I  had 
hardly  explained  what  I  wanted,  when  he  said 
that  he  thought  the  Viceroy  ought  and  would  give 
me  a  steamer,  and  volunteered  to  speak  to  His 
Highness,  and  also  to  Nubar  Pasha,  to  that  effect. 
The  Viceroy,  he  said,  would  be  doing  a  great  ser- 
vice to  science  ;  and  besides,  his  sending  a  steamer 
to  Akaba  would  give  him  an  opportunity  of  show- 
ing his  flag  there,  which  he  might  not  dislike  to 
avail  himself  of.  Akaba,  General  Staunton  says, 
belongs  to  Egypt.1  I  doubt  it.  But  whether  or 
not,  it  is  just  on  the  Turkish  frontier,  and  the 
Viceroy  might  be  glad  of  such  an  excuse  for  going 
there  and  exercising  a  little  bit  of  authority  under 
the  guise  of  rendering  assistance  to  a  distinguished 

1  In  the  adjustment  of  the  Eastern  Question  about  to  be  discussed 
at  the  approaching  Congress,  this  question  will  be  an  important  one 
to  decide. 


English  traveller.  The  Sultan  would  have  no  pre- 
tence for  finding  fault  with  him  for  doing  so.  Is 
not  all  this  good  ?  For  my  part  I  felt  inclined  to 
throw  up  my  hat  for  joy;  but  of  course  I  con- 
fined myself  to  thanking  General  Stanton  for  his 
very  great  kindness.  In  mentioning  to  him  that 
Mr.  Poulett  Scrope  was  one  of  the  kind  patrons  of 
my  expedition,  he  said  he  knew  him  well,  but 
thought  he  was  dead.  He  was  the  colleague,  as 
member  of  Parliament  for  Stroud,  with  General 
Stanton's  father.  After  this  we  talked  politics, 
and  being  both  Conservatives,  we  pulled  well  to- 
gether  in  this  respect  likewise.  Then  I  broached 
the  Libyan  Desert  scheme,  and  showed  him  on  the 
map  of  Africa  the  political,  climatic,  and  humani- 
tarian advantages  of  it.  From  his  manner, 
I  more  than  suspect  the  Khddive  has  a  political 
object  in  Dr.  Eohlfss  expedition,1  and  would  be 
glad  to  have  other  motives  suggested  for  justifying 
it  to  the  world.  The  General  is  to  see  Nubar  Pasha 
to-day,  and  may  then  perhaps  mention  the  subject 
of  my  expedition.  He  must,  of  course,  speak  to 
him  before  addressing  himself  to  the  Khedive. 

After  luncheon  Milne  and  I  called  on  Mrs. 
Eogers,  and  then  I  went  alone  to  pay  my  respects 
to  Mrs.  Stanton.      She  received  me  very  kindly, 

1  Dr.  Gerhard  Rohlfa  is  now  organising  a  fresh  expedition. 


and  asked  particularly  after  you,  and  was  very 
sorry  to  hear  yon  had  become  such  an  invalid.  I 
had  a  long  talk  with  her  about  my  affair,  in  which 
she  seemed  •  much  interested,  but  she  said  she 
feared  I  should  meet  with  much  opposition  on 
account  of  the  novelty  of  my  views.  When  I 
came  back  to  the  hotel,  I  saw  a  dragoman  recom- 
mended by  Yakfib,  and  afterwards  Cook's  (the 
tourist's)  manager,  Alexander  Howard,  a  Syrian. 
Then  I  came  to  my  room  to  write  to  you.  The 
mail  is  in  from  Brindisi,  and  I  hope  to  hear  from 

December  27. — Yesterday  afternoon,  after  I  had 
finished  my  letter  of  the  23d  to  the  26th,  which 
accompanies  this,  I  received  your  dear  letter  of 
the  1 8th,  and  regret  exceedingly  to  hear  such  bad 
accounts  of  your  health.  Pray  do  not  delay  a 
moment  consulting  a  doctor :  I  trust  to  hear  you 
have  done  so  when  you  next  write,  and  that  you 
will  be  able  td  give  me  a  more  favourable  report, 
for  I  am  most  anxious  on  the  subject.  You  really 
must  keep  well  while  I  am  away.  If  all  goes  right, 
as  I  now  hope,  it  will  not  be  long  before  I  am  back 
with  you.  What  you  tell  me  about  Hickie  k  Co. 
is  most  vexing :  I  shall  write  to  Messrs.  Tod,  Rath- 
bone,  &  Co.  on  the  subject.  Apart  from  the  extra 
expenses  which  I  shall  try  to  avoid,  I  hardly  think 



there  will  be  very  much  delay,  and  as  it  is  only  the 
case  of  instruments  that  has  gone  to  Liverpool,  why 
that  does  not  very  much  signify,  as  I  shall  not 
want  them  till  I  start  on  my  journey.  Your  case 
I  shall  be  glad  to  receive  as  quickly  as  possible. 
Mr.  M.'s  conduct,  with  respect  to  my  article, 
is  really  too  bad.  The  fact  is,  he  has  no  faith 
in  my  discovery,  or  in  the  success  of  my  expe- 
dition; but,  inshallah,  we  will  teach  him  better 
yet.  I  am  sorry  indeed  to  hear  you  have  been 
so  unsuccessful  with  respect  to  subscriptions 
for  my  expedition.  I  fear  with  you  that  you  will 
not  get  anything  more  now  :  I  must  see  whether  I 
cannot  meet  with  some  more  friends  here  like  Colonel 
Morrieson.  I  had  last  night  a  long  conversation 
with  the  Mr.  Norris  about  whom  I  wrote  to  you  in 
my  last  letter,  and  who  seems  greatly  interested  in 
my  expedition.  He  looked  into  my  pamphlet  whilst 
with  Nubar  Pasha,  and  wished  he  could  read  it 
through,  so  I  lent  him  a  copy,  which  he  took  forth- 
with to  his  room  to  read.  I  shall  have  to  tell  you 
more  about  him  by  and  by.  What  you  say  in 
your  letter  about  the  Khedive  having  an  excuse 
for  going  to  Akaba,1  &c,  is  exactly  what  General 
Stanton  said;   so  this  shows  what  a  clever  little 

»  See  Beke's  "French  and  English  in  the  Red  Sea.*     Second 
Edition,  1S62.    Taylor  &  Francis. 


EGYPT  AS  IT  IS.  191 

woman  you  are.  Let  me  first  get  the  steamer,  and 
then  of  course  I  shall  ask  for  a  firman  addressed  to 
the  Governor  of  Akaba,  ordering  him  to  provide 
me  with  whatever  is  necessary. 

And  now  about  myself.  I  am  quite  well,  and 
my  leg  is  going  on  quite  well  too.  It  has  been 
raining  on  and  off  all  the  night ;  this  is  a  novelty 
in  Cairo,  where  it  used  never  to  rain :  the  culti- 
vation and  the  trees  are  the  cause  of  it.  Mr.  Norris 
says  that  in  1850  there  were  two  and  a  half  mil- 
lions of  acres  under  cultivation,  and  now  there  &re 
five  millions  I  He  is  an  American  settled  in  Paris, 
and,  if  I  am  to  believe  all  he  tells  me,  he  is  an 
agent  of  the  French  Government,  or  at  all  events 
was  so  at  the  time  of  the  investment  of  Paris, 
when  he  says  he  was  sent  on  a  mission  to  the 
several  Powers  of  Europe  having  a  credit  of  seven 
millions  of  francs.  I  fancy  this  is  rather  "  tall " 
talk ;  but  at  all  events,  he  seems  to  be  on  intimate 
terms  with  the  Khedive  and  his  Ministers.  We  had 
a  good  deal  of  conversation  about  my  expedition  and 
myself.  He  said  that  Nubar  Pasha  was  favourably 
disposed  towards  me,  only  he  could  not  encourage 
the  Khddive  in  patronising  enterprises  like  mine 
that  are  constantly  being  brought  before  him.  The 
Kh&live  is  overhead  and  ears  in  debt ;  money  is 


getting  scarcer  every  day,  and  a  stop  must  be  made 
to  all  unnecessary  expenditure.  So,  enterprises  like 
mine  are  not  to  be  encouraged,  and  the  Khedive  is 
to  squander  two  or  three  millions  on  the  marriage 
of  his  daughters,  as  he  did  last  year,  and  is  likely 
to  do  again  this  year.  He  is,  however,  a  very  kind 
man,  and  if  I  were  introduced  to  him,  and  he  were 
in  the  humour,  he  would  grant  me  all  I  requested. 
Mr.  Norris  recommended  that  I  should  get  General 
Stanton  to  introduce  me,  or  to  speak  to  him  for 
me.  And  as  he  questioned,  I  said  I  had  seen, 
and  spoken  to  him  on  the  subject.  Norris 
was  anxious  to  know  what  he  had  said,  but 
I  only  told  him  that  the  General  had  ex- 
pressed himself  not  unfavourably,  but  of  course 
with  persons  in  his  position  it  was  necessary  to  be 
diplomatic,  and  speak  in  general  terms,  which  led 
to  a  long  talk  about  diplomacy  and  his  (Norris's) 
experience,  &c.  If  he  was  fishing,  he  did  not  catch 
much.  I  shall  see  him  again  when  he  has  read  my 
pamphlet.  I  asked  him  to  allow  me  to  pay  my 
respects  to  Madame,  who  has  come  to  Egypt  for 
her  health.  They  are  lodging  in  this  hotel,  where 
they  have  been  since  October.  I  hear  that  the 
Duke  of  Sutherland  and  Mr.  Pender  are  coming 
here  next  month.     They  built  the  house  in  which 


the  Consul-General  is  living,  and  which  he  rents  of 
them.  This  is  a  little  speculation  of  theirs.  The 
Khedive  gave  them  the  land,  and  asked  them  to 
build.  He  is  altering  the  Frank  quarter  entirely. 
Shepheard's  Hotel  is  no  longer  on  the  Esbekiah.  I 
assure  you,  you  would  not  know  the  place.  I  shall 
now  close  my  letter  and  put  it  in  the  box  so  that  it 
may  go  by  the  twelve  o'clock  mail  to  Alexandria. 
We  are  not  always  sure  here  about  the  departure 
from  Alexandria,  as  it  depends  on  the  arrival  of  the 
India  mail  at  Suez,  whence  it  goes  through  direct, 
without  passing  through  Cairo.  The  English  post- 
office  in  this  city  is  now  abolished,  and  our  letters 
have  to  be  sent  through  the  Egyptian  post-office. 
I  do  not  mean  to  write  to  the  "  Athenaeum  "  again 
till  I  hear  what  the  editor  has  done  with  my  letter 
from  Alexandria.  It  is  not  raining  now,  but  it 
is  miserably  cold,  and  the  streets  are  filthily 
dirty.  I  have  written  to  Messrs.  Tod,  Eathbone,  & 
Co.,  and  hope  to  have  the  case  of  books,  at  all 
events,  in  a  day  or  two;  but  it  may  be  a  week 
or  more  before  I  get  the  case  of  instruments. 

December  28. — After  I  had  posted  my  letter  to 
you  yesterday,  the  rain  still  continued,  with  hail. 
Signor  Battisti,  who  came  in  from  Alexandria  in 
the  evening,  said  they  had  had  hailstones  there  as 



big  as  the  end  of  one's  finger !  Of  course  there 
was  no  stirring  out  of  the  house.  I  was  glad  he 
came  in,  so  that  I  might  have  a  chat  with  him  over 
the  fore,  round  which  all  the  visitors  in  the  house 
crowded  after  dinner  and  remained  till  bedtime. 
There  was  no  performance  at  the  Opera  on  account 
of  the  weather  1  To-day  it  is  fine,  but  the  streets 
are  full  of  mud  almost  over  one's  ankles.  I  went 
out,  nevertheless,  before  church  to  see  Mr.  Beyerld 
and  Mr.  Jacques  Oppenheim:  the  former  said 
that  Nubar  Pasha  would  be  willing  to  assist  me 
were  it  not  for  the  expense,  which,  he  says,  would 
be  £2000  at  least!  I  recurred  to  my  conver- 
sation about  my  scheme  for  flooding  the  Libyan 
Desert  as  a  means  of  abolishing  the  slave 
trade,  <fcc.  At  first  he  shrugged  his  shoulders, 
but  afterwards  listened  more  attentively,  though 
he  said  that  the  Viceroy  had  no  money  for  such 
schemes.  I  replied  that  I  did  not  propose  he 
should  spend  money,  for  that  I  thought  the  Eng- 
lish philanthropists  would  back  such  an  enterprise ; 
and  I  suggested  that  he  should  mention  it  to  the 
Khddive.  He  laughed  and  said  that  His  Highness 
and  he  were  at  war — they  did  not  even  speak  I 
We  know  what  the  end  of  this  will  be.  When  the 
Khedive  gets  over  his  displeasure,  because  they 

WE  A  THER  IX  EG  YPT.  1 95 

have  not  been  willing  or  able  to  snpply  him  with 
all  the  money  he  wants,  they  will  be  better  friends 
than  ever.  I  explained  that  I  did  not  put  this 
forward  as  a  scheme  from  which  I  wished  to 
derive  any  personal  advantage :  what  I  did  was 
purely  in  the  cause  of  humanity,  and  in  the 
interest  (as  I  fully  believed)  of  His  Highness.  I 
shall  see  De  Lesseps  about  it,  and  also  about  the 
Suez  Canal  steamers :  I  think  I  shall  at  all  events 
be  able  to  get  one  of  these.  Mr.  Beyerl<5  promised 
he  would  still  try  to  move  Nubar  Pasha ;  but  that 
General  Stanton  could  hardly  fail  of  success  if  he 
really  took  the  matter  up.  He  and  his  partner 
had  intended  calling  on  me  yesterday  but  for  the 
weather,  and  the  latter  said  it  was  their  purpose  to 
do  so  to-day,  but  I  begged  them  not  to  trouble  as 
I  was  going  to  church.  I  suppose  I  shall  see  them 
to-morrow.  General  Stanton  was  not  at  church, 
so  I  presume  he  was  busy  with  the  mail,  which  did 
not  leave  till  after  two  p.m.  Letters  at  the  post- 
office  were  in  time  till  noon.  I  posted  mine  yester- 
day, because  I  was  told  it  was  safer  to  do  so,  on 
account  of  the  freaks  the  Post-Office  Company  play 
when  the  steamers  are  behind  time.  I  could  still 
have  posted  another  letter  had  there  been  any 
necessity  for  it. 


The  Consul  was  at  church,  but  he  came  in  late, 
having  had  to  go  to  the  Khedive.  The  Consul- 
General  will  be  going  there  too,  as  he  must  pay  his 
respects  after  his  long  absence.  I  have  been  for- 
tunate in  pushing  on  to  Cairo  at  the  very  moment 
they  both  arrived  here.  I  omitted  to  mention  that 
yesterday  afternoon  I  called  on  Mrs.  Norris,  as  I 
had  requested  permission  to  do  when  I  lent  Norris 
my  pamphlet.  He  was  not  in,  so  I  had  to  intro- 
duce myself,  which  I  had  no  difficulty  in  doing,  as 
we  were  already  on  bowing  terms  from  meeting  so 

After  church  I  went  to  look  De  Lesseps  up.  I 
was  told  he  was  at  the  New  Hotel,  and  there  they 
sent  me  to  the  Hotel  Royal,  whence  I  was  for- 
warded to  the  Hotel  d'Orient,  the  hotel  at  which 
he  had  really  been,  but  is  no  longer,  he  having 
gone  to  Ismailia  (pronounced  Ismaileeyah)  three  or 
four  days  ago.  He  is  expected  back  in  a  week  or 
ten  days ;  I  think,  however,  of  running  over  to 
Ismailia  to  see  him.  I  will  jot  down  some  notes 
here  which  I  made  on  my  journey  from  Alex- 

The  country  is  so  changed  since  I  first  knew  it, 
that  it  does  not  seem  the  same  :  it  is  well  cul- 
tivated, and  looks  most  rich  and  flourishing,  being 


well  watered  from  canals  and  ditches.  I  observed 
a  rude  way  of  passing  the  water  from  one  ditch  to 
another ;  two  men  held  the  ends  of  a  cord,  in  the 
middle  of  which  was  a  basket,  which  they  swung 
backwards  and  forwards,  and  so  scooped  the  water 
out  Many  of  the  villages  were  much  improved, 
and  there  were  signs  of  houses  for  the  labourers, 
approaching  more  to  a  European  type  than  the 
mud  huts  in  which  they  have  hitherto  lived.  Some 
of  the  native  villages  seemed  deserted,  and  the  huts 
falling  into  decay.  When  the  Israelites  built  the 
cities  for  Pharaoh  of  mud,  bricks,  and  straw,  I 
should  like  to  know  how  long  they  could  have 
lasted,  and  what  traces  we  are  likely  to  find  of 
them.  There  was,  I  am  told,  an  exodus  of  fellahs 
in  the  time  of  Mohammed  ALL,  in  consequence  of 
his  oppression,  which  was  the  primary  cause  of  the 
Syrian  war.     I  must  see  to  this. 

The  reason  of  the  rains  which  now  visit  this 
country  so  much  more  than  formerly  appears  to  be 
the  greater  cultivation,  and  also  the  planting  of 
trees,  which  not  only  line  the  road,  but  are  in  parts 
so  plentiful  as  to  give  it  almost  the  appearance  in 
places  of  being  well  wooded :  it  certainly  does  not 
look  like  Egypt.  In  the  villages  far  and  near  one 
sees  the  tall  chimneys  of  factories,  which  tend  to 


increase  the  illusion,  though  the  mixture  with  them 
of  the  native  mud  huts  soon  destroys  the  charm. 
Ophthalmia,  the  great  curse  of  the  country,  is  cer- 
tainly on  the  decrease,  being  not  only  less  frequent, 
but  also  in  a  milder  form.  The  railway,  above  all, 
is  a  great  civiliser,  from  its  opening  up  the  country, 
facilitating  the  transport  of  its  produce,  and  bring- 
ing the  people  of  one  part  into  communication  with 
those  of  another.  We  had  a  delightful  ride  from 
Alexandria  to  Cairo,  having  the  carriage  entirely  to 
ourselves  during  the  greater  part  of  the  time,  and 
the  weather  being  delightfully  cool  and  pleasant. 
The  cotton  harvest  is  just  over,  and  the  people  are 
busy  clearing  and  ploughing  the  land,  an  animated 
and  lively  scene.  In  one  place  we  saw  a  camel 
drawing  the  plough !  In  others,  the  cattle  were 
taking  their  fill  of  the  rich  pasture,  which  they 
seemed  to  have  possession  of  ad  libitum.  Of  course 
there  is  a  dark  side — perhaps  many  dark  sides — to 
the  picture,  but,  looking  on  the  surface  only,  there 
is  an  appearance  of  great  material  prosperity,  and 
the  balance  must  certainly  be  of  good. 

Yonis  Ibrahim,  a  dragoman,  recommended  to  me 
by  Yakub  esh  Shellaby,  has  been  with  me  to-day  to 
let  me  know  his  terms.  He  has  the  modesty  to  talk 
of  £8  per  day,  for  one  month,  that  is,  £248.     I 


only  wish  he  may  get  it,  or  rather,  I  wish  I  had  it 
to  give — and  then  I  would  not.  I  told  him  so ; 
when  he  proposed  that  I  should  take  the  expenses 
on  myself,  and  pay  him  only  for  his  personal  ser- 
vices. I  asked  him  how  much  he  expected,  when 
he  hinted  at  his  having  been  paid  £25  a  month  by 
the  Egyptian  Government,  for  accompanying  some 
of  the  railway  surveyors  in  Upper  Egypt.  Clearly 
this  gentleman  is  too  high-priced  for  me  ;  but  hie  is 
a  respectable  and  intelligent  man,  has  been  several 
times  to  Akaba,  Petra,  Ma'an,  &c,  and  I  have  no 
doubt  would  do  his  work  well. 

December  29. — This  morning,  I  went  to  the 
French  Consulate  to  inquire  after  M.  de  Lesseps. 
He  is  on  the  Suez  Canal  somewhere,  and  is  expected 
back  in  a  few  days.  I  thought,  and  still  think,  of 
writing  to  him,  appointing  to  see  him  at  Ismailia ; 
but  on  inquiry,  I  find  the  journey  would  occupy  a 
whole  day  and  the  return  another,  costing  a  pound 
sterling  each  way,  and  a  third  day  would  be  occupied 
with  him.  This  would  involve  the  hotel  bill  for  two 
nights,  in  addition  to  the  expenses  of  my  room 
here  at  Cairo,  so  that  I  question  whether  it  would 
be  prudent  to  chance  the  journey.  I  will  write  to 
him,  however,  to  know  when  he  may  be  expected 


This  morning  I  have  been  to  Boulak  to  see  the 
Egyptian  Museum,  and  also  to  have  a  talk  with 
Mariette  Bey,  the  Director,  as  you  know.  I  looked 
over  the  Museum,  but  did  not  succeed  in  finding 
M.  Mariette,  as  he  was  absent  with  the  Viceroy, 
and  the  people  in  charge  did  not  know  when  he 
would  be  back.  The  principal  object  of  my  curio- 
sity was  the  group  Mariette  discovered  at  San  (the 
Zoan  of  Scripture)  of  the  remains  of  my  Mitzrites — 
his  Hyksos — who  were  evidently  allied  to  the  Philis- 
tines, and  worshipped  the  same  >fe-god,  Dagon. 
They  are  very  interesting  and  important,  confirm- 
ing, as  they  do,  my  identification  of  the  position  of 
Mitzraim.  I  was  accompanied  by  Mr.  Milne,  who 
had,  however,  found  his  way  thither  a  day  or  two 
ago,  before  the  rain.  He  is  extremely  well  informed 
on  other  subjects  besides  geology,  having  been 
educated  at  Kings  College,  London,  besides  acquir- 
ing mechanical  knowledge  in  Lancashire,  of  which 
county  he  is  a  native.  He  is  rather  backward,  so 
that  he  does  not  make  the  most  of  himself 9  like 
somebody  else  I  know,  so  that  he  requires  drawing 
out :  but  I  find  his  company  very  useful  to  me, 
and,  in  talking  over  matters,  I  obtain  many  a  valu- 
able hint  from  him.  He  has  now  gone  off  with 
his  hammer  to  look  at  the  mountains  near  here, 

MAR1ETTE  BE  TS  EXHUMA TIONS.        20 1 

which,  however,  I  expect  he  will  find  to  be  further 

off  than  he  calculates  on ;  but  he  has  good  legs, 

and  knows  how  to  use  them.     He  also  knows  how 

to  talk,  and  is  gradually  disseminating  my  views 

among  the  people  in  the  hotel,  with  whom  he  mixes 

more  than  I  do.     I,  too,  do  my  best  to  be  sociable. 

Fancy  an  American  telling  him  that  he  looked  on 

me   as   a  long-headed,    matter-of-fact    Yorkshire- 

I  meet  several  persons  who  claim  acquaintance 
with  me.  One  is  Dr.  Grant,  an  American  physician, 
who  says  he  lodged  with  us  at  Williams's,  in  the  Shou- 
bra  road,  in  1865  ;  another  is  Mr.  Gibbs,  the  Direc- 
tor of  the  telegraph,  who  tells  me  that  the  P.  and 
0/s  Southampton  steamer  has  been  forced  by  the 
weather  to  proceed  direct  to  Port  Said,  without 
putting  in  at  Alexandria  to  land  mails  and  pas- 
sengers, and  my  box  of  books,  <fcc,  which  will  have 
to  be  landed  at  Ismailia,  or  it  may  be  at  Suez. 
This  is  annoying,  though,  under  the  circumstances, 
the  delay  is  not  so  important  as  it  might  have  been. 
It  is  strange  that  I  have  not  fallen  in  with  my 
friend  Colonel  Morrieson :  he  came  on  to  Cairo 
the  day  before  me,  and  I  certainly  understood  he 
would  be  at  the  New  Hotel,  but  he  is  not  there. 
In  the  afternoon  I  wrote  to  M.  de  Lesseps,  asking 


him  when  he  would  be  in  Cairo,  and  when  I  could 
see  him  after  his  arrival. 

After  dinner  Milne  and  I  went  and  paid  a  visit 
to  Mr.  Frank  Dillon  at  the  Hotel  du  Nil.  He  asked 
particularly  after  you,  and  hoped  to  see  you  and 
me  at  his  studio  at  Kensington  after  his  and  my 
return  to  England.  He  gave  me  a  photograph  of 
an  interior  of  a  "  native  "  house  which  I  shall  bring 
home  to  you.  There  is  a  story  attached  to  it,  which 
I  need  not  tell  you  now.1  Milne  had  been  out, 
but  did  not  get  as  far  as  the  mountains,  having 
been  stopped  by  the  cemetery  of  ancient  Cairo 
which  they  have  been  cutting  through,  exposing 
thousands  of  human  skulls  and  bones.  Dillon  will  go 
there  to  see  them.  I  suggest  that  it  would  make  a 
fine  sketch  of  the  "  valley  of  the  shadow  of  death." 

December  30.  —  Last  night  I  looked  through 
Mariette  Roy's  "  History  of  Egypt,"  a  little  work  of 
which  I  Wight  a  copy  yesterday  at  the  Museum. 
To  my  great  gratification  I  find  he  substantially 
agrees  with  me  as  to  the  fact,  that  the  Israelites 
were  not  in  bondage  under  the  Egyptians,  but 
under  the  Hvksoa*  or  Sfi^timf  Kings,  who  were  of 
a  ditVorvnt  race*     Thus  I  am  right  in  saying  that 

1  Th«  **oiy  ***,  tiui  th*  tvvsi  £;:<\l  up  u*  such  a  thotvxi^felj  ori- 


every  shepherd  was  not  an  "  abomination,"  as  our 
English  (and  every  other)  version  has  it,  but  of  a 
separate  and  respected  class.  I  must  see  Mariette, 
and  so  I  have  sent  a  note  to  him  this  morning 
requesting  an  interview.  He  stands  well  with  the 
Khedive,  and  may  be  able  to  help  me  with  him. 
I  have  heard  nothing  yet  from  General  Stanton.  I 
trust  that  no  news  is  good  news.  Having  received  an 
answer  from  Mariette  Bey  that  he  was  mostly  visible 
in  the  afternoon,  I  took  a  carriage  after  lunch  to  Bou- 
lak,  but  he  had  not  come  back  from  Abdin,  where  he 
was  with  the  Khedive :  but  I  was  told  I  could  see 
him  at  eight  o'clock  to-morrow  morning.  Milne 
has  been  out  into  the  country  with  Mr.  Waller,  the 
American  artist,  and  has  brought  home  a  very 
pretty  sketch  he  has  made.  He,  like  me,  is  most 
anxious  to  be  off  and  at  work,  as  he  wants  to  get 
back  to  England  for  his  Newfoundland  engagement 
in  the  spring. 

Just  as  I  came  back  from  Boulak,  the  Khedive's 
mother  passed  in  a  carriage  and  four,  with  her 
ladies  in  waiting  following  in  two  other  carriages 
and  pairs,  with  syces  and  outriders  carrying  gold 
and  silver  sticks,  and  followed  by  a  number  of  atten- 
dants, quite  a  state  affair.  My  coachman  had  to 
stop  his  horses   while   she  passed.      Just  before 


dinner  I  was  standing  in  the  Hall,  when  General 
Stanton  and  Mr.  Rogers  called  for  Mr.  Vivian 
and  Mr.  Elliott,  who  are  staying  at  this  hotel.  The 
General  had  just  time  to  say  to  me  that  he  had 
seen  Nubar  Pasha,  who  had  promised  to  speak  to 
the  Viceroy,  though  he  did  not  expect  much  good 
from  it.  He  had  intended  to  call  on  me  to  tell  me, 
but  had  not  had  time.  This  is  not  very  encour- 
aging. In  fact,  I  fear  I  shall  not  succeed.  What 
I  shall  do  if  the  Viceroy  refuses  I  really  do  not 

Selim,  the  son  of  our  old  dragoman,  Mikhail 
Hend,  has  been  offering  his  services  as  dragoman. 
He  asks  £7  per  diem,  and  says  it  will  take  fifteen 
days  to  Akaba  alone  !  What  am  I  to  do  ?  I  am 
quite  bewildered.  My  only  chance  seems  to  be  a 
small  boat.  Meanwhile  time  runs  on,  and  I  am 
dipping  deeper  and  deeper  into  my  scanty  purse. 

December  31. — This  morning  I  was  up  before 
seven,  had  my  breakfast  in  my  room,  and  was  off 
to  Mariette  Bey.  A  lovely  morning,  but  the  fog  so 
thick  that  one  could  not  see  fifty  yards  before  one ; 
the  sun,  however,  soon  cleared  it  off.  Mariette 
received  me  very  kindly,  and  we  had  a  long  talk 
together.  We  are  quite  of  one  opinion  as  to  the 
Israelites  and  Shepherd  Kings.     My  connecting  the 


latter  with  the  Philistines  by  means  of  the  fish-god, 
Dagon,  was  something  new  to  him,  and  he  said  he 
would  immediately  make  une  petite  Stude  la  dessus. 
As  to  my  expedition,  he  thought  the  Viceroy  might 
give  me  a  vessel — he  has  two  in  the  Red  Sea — but 
it  depends  entirely  on  Nubar  Pasha.  They  are 
making  great  "  economies,"  he  knows,  which  may 
stand  in  the  way,  but  he  thinks  it  might  be  done. 
He  recommends  me  to  speak  to  General  Stone,  an 
American  officer,  who  is  Acting  Minister  of  Public 
Works.  I  will  get  Mr.  Norris  to  introduce  me.  I 
spoke  to  Marietta  about  inundating  the  Libyan 
Desert.  He  says  that  the  French  are  actually  at 
work  on  the  subject  of  inundating  the  Sahara,  be- 
hind Algiers,  by  means  of  the  Lesser  Syrtis.  It  is 
by  the  Greater  Syrtis,  or  Gulf  of  Sidra,  that  I  pro- 
pose inundating  the  Libyan  Desert. 

Whilst  I  was  writing  this  a  gentleman  was  an- 
nounced, and  on  my  requesting  him  to  come  up  to 
my  room,  I  found  him  to  be  Dr.  Schweinfurth,  a 
nice  young  man,  much  younger  than  I  had  any 
idea  of,  for  although  I  believe  I  have  met  him  be- 
fore I  had  forgotten  what  he  was  like.  He  is  on 
his  way  to  the  Oasis  of  Khargeh,  or  Great  Oasis, 
and  will  start  the  day  after  to-morrow.  He  is  lodg- 
ing at  the  Hotel  du  Nil ;  and  hearing  of  my  being 


here,  he  came  to  pay  his  respects  to  me.  We  had  a 
long  and  most  interesting  conversation  on  a  variety 
of  subjects  connected  with  his  journey  and  mine ; 
discussing  Baker,  Speke,  Lepsius,  Miani — the  last- 
named  is  just  dead,  having  gone  as  far  as  Schwein- 
furth  himself.  One  curious  fact  he  told  me  is  that 
the  people  of  Upper  Egypt  confound  Lepsius  with 
the  Persian  King  Cambyses,  who  lived  three  or 
four  hundred  years  B.C.  I  Cambyses,  it  is  well 
known,  destroyed  the  statue  of  Memnon  and 
other  ancient  monuments.  Lepsius,  it  is  also  well 
known,  defaced  many  of  the  monuments  by  taking 
away  the  inscriptions  for  the  Berlin  Museum  some 
thirty  years  ago.  In  the  minds  of  the  ignorant 
fellahs  the  two  have  got  confused,  so  that  Lepsius 
is  reported  to  be  the  destroyer  of  the  statue  of 
Memnon !  Such  is  "  tradition."  Therefore  we  may 
well  understand  how  the  people  of  Haran  have 
adopted  our  "  Rebekah's  Well,"  and  made  it  that  of 
"  Abraham."  Schweinfurth  says  that  the  Viceroy 
rendered  him  no  assistance,  so  far  as  money  is  con- 
cerned :  all  his  support  was  moral :  he  ordered  the  na- 
tives to  assist  him — that  is  all.  To  Rohlfs's  expedi- 
tion his  assistance  is  limited  to  ^4000.  Sir  Samuel 
Baker's  Expedition  has  cost  the  Viceroy  half-a- 
million  sterling  and  seven  hundred  lives,  to  no  pur- 



pose,  or  rather,  it  has  done  harm  that  it  will  take 
long  to  remedy,  if  ever  I  Instead  of  putting  an 
end  to  slavery,  it  has  put  an  end  to  legitimate  com- 
merce. And  as  regards  science  and  geographical 
discovery,  he  has  done  absolutely  nothing.  I  gave 
Schweinfurth  a  copy  of  my  pamphlet,  and  have 
now  only  one  left.  The  letters  by  the  Southamp- 
ton steamer  arrived  here  last  night  from  Suez,  so 
that  I  shall  be  hearing  about  my  things  soon,  I 

This  morning  Selim  has  been  speaking  to  me 
again.  He  asks  ten  francs  per  day  for  himself,  I 
finding  everything.  This  would  make  three  hun- 
dred francs  per  month,  or  ^12.  Yonis  talked  of 
^25  I  There  is  a  Mr.  Walter  M'Lellan,  a  manufac- 
turer, or  engineer  more  probably,  of  Glasgow,  who 
is  going  up  the  Nile  with  his  wife  and  daughter ; 
I  have  made  their  acquaintance  through  Milne,  who 
lent  him  his  copy  of  my  pamphlet  to  read.  He 
could  not  then  give  it  the  attention  he  wished,  so  I 
thought  I  might  as  well  present  him  with  a  copy 
from  myself,  with  which  he  was  much  pleased. 
He  is  a  friend  of  Livingstone's,  who  gave  him  a  copy 
of  his  work  on  the  last  day  of  1858,  in  return  for 
which  he  and  two  friends  made  him  a  present  of  a 
little  steam-engine,  with  flour-mill,  and  I  know  not 


what  besides.     He  seems  much  interested  in  my 
expedition,  and  may  assist  it  perhaps. 

After  luncheon  I  called  on  General  Stanton,  to 
hear  the  particulars  of  his  conversation  with  Nubar 
Pasha.  The  latter  promised  to  speak  to  the  Vice- 
roy, but  may  forget  to  do  so,  in  which  case  the 
General  says  he  will  take  care  to  remind  him,  and 
he  would  speak  to  the  Viceroy  himself  if  ever  he 
had  an  opportunity;  but  of  course  he  could  not 
go  to  him  on  purpose.  He  says  he  thinks  he  could 
and  ought  to  do  this  for  me.  Stanton  seems 
most  well  disposed,  and  I  must  hope  he  really 
is  so.  He  says  I  am  too  early,  and  that  I  ought 
to  wait  till  the  middle  or  end  of  February.  But 
how  could  I  do  this,  especially  as  I  want  to  be 
at  Akaba  at  the  Pascal  full  moon?  When  I 
went  in  he  presented  me  with  an  invitation  to 
dinner  to-morrow,  New-Year's  Day,  which  he  was 
just  going  to  send  out  to  me.  Of  course  I  ac- 
cepted it  with  thanks.  While  with  him,  Mr.  J 
Oppenheim  came  in :  he  had  just  been  to  call  on 
me,  and  I  found  his  card  on  my  return. 

Milne  is  hard  at  work  grubbing  in  the  cemetery 
and  the  mountains  beyond.  Thank  God  that 
amidst  all  my  troubles  I  keep  my  health.  During 
the  rain  I  felt  a  little  rheumatic,  and  no  wonder ; 

EDITORS.  209 

but  now  I  am  all  right  again,  and  so  nimble  that  I 
can  run  down  the  marble  stairs  without  holding  on. 
I  don't  run  very  fast.  What  I  mean  to  say  is,  that 
I  go  down  step  after  step  like  any  other  young  man  I 
When  I  go  out  Mr.  Milne  is  always  very  careful 
to  give  me  his  arm,  which  I  found  especially  of  use 
when  I  came  home  at  night  from  Frank  Dillon's. 

This  afternoon  I  have  received  a  letter  from  Mr. 
M ,  via  Southampton,  dated  the  1 6th,  apologis- 
ing for  not  inserting  my  article,  as  he  had  already 
stated  my  views  I  As  regards  the  article  on  New's 
work,  he  inserts  the  part  I  asked  him  to  omit  because 
it  is  "  too  good  to  be  left  out,"  and  then  he  leaves 
out  all  about  myself,  "  lest  he  should  suspect  the 
authorship."  Very  kind  of  him.  He  concludes  by 
saying,  "  When  you  get  into  the  wilds  send  us  some 
letters,  and  oblige  yours  faithfully."  I  feel  in- 
clined to  say,  "  I'll  see  you  hanged  first/'  but  I  sup- 
pose I  must  not  quarrel  with  my  bread  and  butter. 
I  shall  see  what  your  next  letter  says.  The 
"  Atlantic  "  is  due  to-morrow ;  so,  after  all,  no  time 
will  have  been  lost  with  the  instruments.  YakAb 
esh  Shellaby  wants  to  know  where  Lord  Francis 
Conyngham  is,  as  he  wishes  to  write  to  him.  I 
will  see  if  I  can  find  out  for  him.     To-day  my 

pension  is  due.     To-morrow  1  will  get  Mr.  Rogers's 


2 1  o  DISCO  VER  Y  OF  MO  UNT  SINAI. 

certificate.  The  receipt  for  the  Paymaster-General 
is  already  made  out ;  but  I  think  I  must  not  send 
it  to  you,  as  I  hope  to  want  the  money  before  I 
could  hear  from  you ;  and  after  all  the  loss  will  ap- 
parently not  be  greater  than  on  circular  notes,  on 
which  I  hear  it  is  two  per  cent.  I  ought  to  have 
brought  all  my  money  in  gold  napoleons,  which  go 
for  sixteen  shillings  sterling,  without  loss.  Pazienza ! 
General  S.,  they  say,  is  not  liked,  and  will  soon 
have  a  fall  in  spite  of  the  favour  in  which  he  now 
stands.  I  hear  that  these  are  the  sentiments  of  the 
Americans,  of  whom  there  are  many  in  the  Viceroy's 
service,  as  well  as  of  the  native  employes.  I  must 
feel  my  ground  before  wishing  to  speak  to  him,  as 
from  the  character  given  of  him,  he  may  perhaps 
do  me  no  good. 

10.30  p.m. — I  have  been  reading  in  my  room 
Mariette  Bey's  "  History  of  Egypt ; "  and  now,  be- 
fore going  to  bed  for  the  last  night  this  year,  I  open 
my  desk,  and  sit  down  to  wish  you  a  happy  New 
Year,  and  pray  that  God  may  bless  us  both,  and 
make  us  more  happy  and  prosperous  than  during 
the  year  that  is  now  ending.  I  am  very  miserable 
just  now,  but  I  trust  in  God  to  mend  my  condition. 
To  His  care  I  commend  us  both.  Again  and  again 
God  bless  you ! 

r  ~  i  zr^r  z 

:**  r*.  J-*.  13 is  t:  ti.i. 

PITT — MZ*  Z3i^J£s3  SL*J"~*  3«L  IZZIt  E?»ZiZ!  f  TI    -^-tt- 

1    1*  A  CTa_LLL 

January  i,  1*74- — A  liTTj  X-v  Y-:ilt  t:  j:t„ 

mv   darling    ILlr.      1[t   i**st   wi^i-**   m    ill    11 

^  —  «  « 

home.  I  saw  a  lirtle  wlh*  c:«r  in  il-?  #:.c 
at  Boulak  yesterday  wL::h  I«>:-k*I  &:Eir:lir^  like 
our  Prinny.  About  ten  o'clock  I  called  on  CchstiI 
Rogers  on  business,  and  afterwards  went  to 
the  New  Hotel,  with  the  intention  of  attending 
divine  service ;  but  there  seemed  to  be  none. 
However,  on  looking  on  the  board,  I  found 
Colonel  Morrie8on  to  be  in  the  hotel,  so  I  went 
up  to  his  room  and  had  a  long  chat  with 
him.  Mr.,  Mrs.,  and  Miss  M'Lellan  have  left  this 
afternoon  for  their  dahabieh  on  the  Nile,  in  which 
they  intend  remaining  until  they  receive  their 
letters  from  England.  Mr.  M'Lellan  has  invited 
me  and  also  my  companion  to  visit  them  to-morrow 

2 1 2  DISCO  VER  V  OF  MO  UNT  SINAI. 

afternoon.     I  say  "Miss"  M'Lellan ;  but  I  fancy- 
she  is  married. 

In  the  afternoon  I  remained  at  home,  thinking 
over  an  article  for  the  "  Athenaeum,"  which  I  began 
writing.  I  was  stopped  in  my  work  by  a  visit 
from  Colonel  Eyre,  one  of  the  passengers  by  the 
'  Simla/  who  is  going  up  the  Nile ;  and  is  waiting 
for  his  baggage  which  was  to  come  to  Alexandria, 
per  'Malwa,'  but,  like  mine,  it  has  gone  on  to  Suez. 
I  explained  to  him  how  the  matter  stood ;  and 
then  we  had  a  long  talk  about  my  expedition,  which 
lasted  till  it  was  nearly  time  to  dress  for  dinner. 
We  dined  at  7. 30.  The  party  consisted  of  M.  Carl 
Haag,  Mr.  Clarke,  the  chaplain  here,  Captain 
French,  Mr.  Gordon,  General  Stanton's  secretary, 
and  another  young  man  who  appears  to  have  been 
some  time  in  Egypt,  and  myself.  I  took  Mrs.  Stan- 
ton in  to  dinner ;  which  was  served  h,  la  Russe,  but 
was  nothing  very  special.  After  Mrs.  Stanton  had 
withdrawn  into  the  General's  study — the  only  room 
having  afire  that  will  burn — chibouques  were  brought 
in,  and  then  we  joined  'the  lady.'  The  time  was 
pretty  well  taken  up  in  examining  a  rather  large 
collection  of  Egyptian  antiquities — small  things — 
which  General  Stanton  has  been  collecting  from 
time  to  time.     When  we  left  I  walked  with  Carl 


Haag,  with  whom  I  had  some  conversation  respect- 
ing myself,  and  the  difficult  position  in  which  I 
find  myself  placed.      I  was  led  to  this  by  a  re- 
mark he  made  during  dinner  time,  about  what  he 
had  said  to  the  Viceroy  when  he  had  called  upon 
him  a  few  days  ago :  and  I  bethought  me  that  if  / 
had  come  here  and  asked  to  be  presented  to  the 
Viceroy  simply  as  a  distinguished  traveller,  which 
General  Stanton  could  not  have  refused  me,  and 
then  had  broached  the  subject  of  my  expedition,* 
and  asked  the  Viceroy  himself  for  assistance,  I 
should  have  been  spared  all  the  trouble  I  have  had, 
and  have  had  a  better  chance  of  success.     This  I 
explained  to  Haag,  who  saw  the  force  of  it.     He 
suggested  that  I  should  ask  the  General  to  do 
so  even  now ;  and  said  that  if  he  could  do  any- 
thing to  help  me,  he  would.     This  was  very  kind 
of  him.     He  stands  well  with  the  principal  people 
here,  being  a  friend  of  the  Prince  of  Wales,  by 
whom,  I  believe,  he  was  introduced.     He  and  Mr. 
Vivian,  Mr.  Elliott,  and  Mr.  Rogers,  have  just  been 
up  the  Nile  in  the  Viceroy's  private  yacht  with  His 
Highness's  personal  attendants,  &c.     The  Brindisi 
mail  arrived  at  Alexandria  to-day,  and  while  we 
were  at  table,  the  Consul-General's  despatch  box 
was  brought  in. 

2 1 4  DISCO  VER  Y  OF  MO  UNT  SINAI. 

This  morning  I  received  a  note  from  Messrs. 
Tod,  Rathbone,  &  Co,  of  Alexandria,  saying  that 
my  case  of  books  is  not  in  the  manifest  of  the 
1  Malwa/  nor  yet  of  the  following  Southampton 
steamer  '  Cathay/  which  had  just  arrived.  I  have 
written  to  them  in  reply,  that  as  " passengers  bag- 
gage" it  would  not  be  entered  on  the  manifest. 
At  luncheon  I  met  Milne,  whom  I  had  not  seen  for 
twenty-four  hours !  He  was  off  yesterday  afternoon 
fossilizing,  and  when  he  came  back  to  dinner,  I  was 
occupied  with  Colonel  Eyre.  This  morning  he  was 
up  and  away  again  before  I  rose.  He  is  off  again 
somewhere  this  afternoon,  so  that  we  now  see  little 
of  one  another. 

About  4.30  p.m.,  as  I  had  just  finished  my 
article  for  the  "Athenaeum,"  I  was  favoured 
with  a  visit  from  Miss  M'Lellan,  who  very 
kindly  came  to  say  her  father  was  waiting  to  take 
me  on  board  his  dahabieh  to  dine.  They  have 
a  splendid  boat,  with  eight  sleeping-berths,  and 
saloon  handsomely  furnished  with  sofas  on  the 
deck,  an  awning  and  side-curtains,  forming  a  large 
room.  They  club  with  another  family  of  three 
persons,  and  Mr.  M'Lellan  calculates  that  the  trip  of 
the  two  months  will  cost  them  ^400,  or  ^200  for 
each  party.   How  you  would  like  such  a  trip  I    They 

ON  BOARD  A  "DAHAB1EH?  215 

have  their  lady's-maid,  with  dragoman,  native  ser- 
vant, and  cook ;  and  the  crew  consists  of  captain  and 
mate,  ten  men,  and  a  boy.  We  had  a  very  decent 
dinner,  and  the  crew  amused  (?)  us  by  singing,  ac- 
companied by  the  tambourine  :  so  that  altogether  I 
passed  a  very  pleasant  evening.  Milne  was  invited 
also,  but  through  some  misunderstanding  he  did  not 
come  till  after  dinner.  I  had  a  carriage  home, 
which  cost  four  shillings.  Both  Mr.  M'Lellan  and  his 
wife  gave  you  and  me  a  most  pressing  invitation 
to  visit  them  at  Glasgow  in  the  course  of  next 
autumn.  When  I  returned  to  the  hotel  I  fully 
expected  to  find  letters  from  you,  but  there  were 
none.  I  feel  sure  that  you  have  written,  and  con- 
clude, therefore,  that  Tods  of  Alexandria  delayed  a 
post  in  sending  them  on. 

January  3. — Finding  no  letters  from  you  when 
I  went  downstairs  to  breakfast  at  8.30,  as  soon  as 
I  had  finished  I  took  a  donkey-boy  and  went  off 
to  Moski  to  inquire.  I  there  found  Mr.  W.  sorting 
the  letters  received  last  night,  one  of  them  being 
for  me,  which  he  was  on  the  point  of  sending  off. 
It  was  yours  of  Christmas-day,  from  which  I  am 
rejoiced  to  see  that  you  are  better.  What  you 
tell  me  of  there  being  no  further  subscriptions  to  my 
expedition  is  very  discouraging.     I  really  do  not 

2 1 6  DISCO  VER  Y  OF  MO  UNT  SINAI. 

know  what  to  do.  I  hurried  off  from  England  as  I 
did,  because  I  feared  to  be  accused  of  wasting  money 
and  time  that  ought  to  be  applied  to  another  purpose. 
I  am,  however,  far  worse  off  here,  for  I  am  spending 
five  times  as  much  as  I  should  have  done  in  England 
had  I  stayed  to  complete  the  collection  of  the 
necessary  funds ;  and  still  there  is  nothing  to  show 
for  it.  God  help  me !  I  am  almost  in  despair  t 
From  Tod  &  Co.'s  I  went  to  the  Bank  of  Egypt 
on  business. 

It  is  said  that  the  Khedive  talks  of  a  railway  to 
Khartum,  and  even  beyond,  to  which  I  see  no 
objection.  I  spoke  about  flooding  the  Libyan 
Desert,  which  struck  them  much,  and  they  recom- 
mended me  to  see  the  Khddive,  who  would  be  sure 
to  receive  me  well.  I  am  surprised  I  have  not 
heard  from  De  Lesseps  ;  I  suppose  he  is  away  from 
Ismailia.  On  my  way  back  home  I  called  on  Mr.  J. 
Oppenheim.  He  asked  me  how  I  progressed,  and 
I  told  him.  I  spoke  of  my  desire  to  see  the  Viceroy, 
and  asked  if  they  could  manage  it ;  but  he  said  no 
one  could  do  it  but  General  Stanton,  who  could 
not  object  to  present  me  as  an  English  traveller  of 
distinction ;  only  I  must  of  course  avoid  speaking 
of  my  expedition  in  the  first  instance.  The 
General  might  object  on  this  ground,  but  hardly 

RAIL  WA  Y  TO  KHARTUM.  2 1 7 

if  I  promised  not  to  broach  the  subject.  I  feel  the 
difficulty  of  my  position ;  but  I  must  not  leave  a 
stone  unturned.  Through  Nubar  Pasha  I  expect 
nothing,  though  he  might  be  disposed  to  help  me 
if  he  saw  the  Khedive  well  disposed  towards  me. 
Mr.M'Lellan  called  at  luncheon  time  at  the  hotel  with 
his  daughter  to  inquire  for  letters,  and  to  take  leave. 
We  met  in  the  hall,  shook  hands,  and  had  a  few  words 
of  ordinary  conversation,  and  then  said  farewell. 

Janvwy  5. — Ease  your  mind  about  the  two 
cases.  I  have  just  received  from  Messrs.  Tod 
and  Co.  a  letter  from  Messrs.  Hickie,  enclosing 
the  key  of  the  box  you  sent  them,  which  fortu- 
nately they  did  not  send  by  the  '  Mai wa/  but  by 
the  following  weeks  steamer,  the  '  Cathay.'  The 
bill  of  lading  of  the  box,  per  '  Atlantic/  is  also  en- 
closed, so  that  there  is  now  no  difficulty  in  my  going 
on  in  this  respect.  Since  I  wrote  to  you  on  Satur- 
day I  have  been  thinking  seriously  over  my  posi- 
tion,  and  have  come  to  the  conclusion  that  I  must 
go  forward  immediately,  let  the  consequences  be 
what  they  may.  If,  therefore,  there  is  not  a  pros- 
pect of  the  Khedive  giving  me  a  steamer  at  once 
to  perform  the  voyage  up  the  Gulf  of  Akaba,  which 
I  so  much  desire,  I  have  decided  on  going  on  to 
Suez,  and  chartering  a  native  boat,  or  buggalah.    I 


know  what  they  are,  as  I  came  on  in  one  from 
Djeddah  to  Suez  in  1843.  On  Saturday  I  wrote  to 
Mr.  West  inquiring  about  the  Peninsula  and 
Oriental  Company's  Steamer  "Timsah,"  and  also 
about  a  buggalah. 

I  am  now  going  to  Messrs.  Oppenheim  and  to 
General  Stanton  to  tell  them  my  determination. 
Through  the  latter  I  shall  at  all  events  be  able  to 
obtain  a  firman  ordering  the  Mutsellim  (or  Gover- 
nor) of  Kalaat-el-Akaba  to  help  me.  I  cannot  now 
tell  you  the  result,  as  I  must  post  this  letter  before 
I  go  out,  or  I  shall  be  too  late  for  the  Marseilles 
mail.  But  I  have  thought  it  better  to  write  to 
you  about  the  cases,  so  as  to  prevent  you  from 
giving  yourself  any  further  anxiety  on  account  of 
this,  and  also  to  ease  your  mind  a  little  about 
myself.  All  will  be  for  the  best ;  I  trust  in  God. 
As  for  myself  I  have  confidence  in  the  knowledge 
that  I  am  acting  for  the  best  under  the  circum- 
stances in  which  I  am  placed.  Mr.  Milne  is  going 
on  well.  I  find  him  a  much  better  artist  than  I  had 
any  idea  of ;  for  he  has  painted  some  very  pretty 
views  of  Cairo.  He  is  getting  a  little  nervous 
about  the  delay,  as  he  wants  to  be  back  in  England 
by  the  end  of  February  or  so.  You  know  our 
agreement,  or  understanding,  was,  that  I  should  not 

A  FIRMAN.  219 

require  his  services  for  more  than  three  mouths, 
and  one  month  has  already  expired ! 

January  5. — The  few  lines  I  wrote  to  you  this 
morning,  via  Marseilles,  will  have  prepared  you  for 
what  I  have  now  to  communicate.     As  soon  as  I 
had  posted  my  letter  I  went  to  Oppenheim's,  and 
saw  Mr.  Beyerld  and  Mr.  Jacques  Oppenheim ;  the 
former,  before  I  could  say  anything  to  him,  volun- 
teered the  advice  that  I  should  not  wait  in  expec- 
tation of  the  Viceroy's  agreeing  to  my  request ;  but 
that  I  should  act  independently.     I  told  him  this 
was  what  I  intended  to  do,  and  that  I  had  come  to 
speak  to  him  about  a  firman  to  the  Mutsellim  of 
Akaba.     He  said  that  I  must  apply  for  it  through 
General  Stanton ;  but  that  he  would  back  it  with 
Nubar   Pasha.     I  then  went  straight  to  General 
Stanton,  but  he  was  not  in,  so  I  directed  my  steps 
to  the  Consulate,  where  I  had  a  long  talk  with  my 
friend  Kogers.     He  said  that  he  could  obtain  for 
me  a  letter  from  the  Governor  of  Cairo,  and  he 
would  also  give  me  one  to  him,  as  he  has  been  in 
correspondence  with  him,  though  he  does  not  know 
him  personally.     But  when  I  said  I  wanted  a  fir- 
man,  he   replied  that  this   I   could   only  obtain 
through  the   Consul-General.      So   everything  is 
centred  in  this  one  man. 


However,  not  disheartened,  I  went  in  the  after- 
noon to  General   Stanton,  who  immediately  said 
he  would  introduce  me  to  Nubar  Pasha,  and  at  once, 
if  I  pleased.     Whereupon  he  kindly  sent  off  to  the 
Minister's  to  know  whether  he  was  in  his  divan 
— at  the  Foreign  Office ;  and  learning  in  the  affir- 
mative, he  at  once  took  me  off  with  him.     Nubar 
Pasha  received  me  most  courteously.    When  the 
General  asked  if  he  had  anything  to  say  about 
the  steamer,  he  shook  his  head ;  but  on  his  telling 
him  that  I  had  decided  on  going  to  Akaba  in  a 
native  boat,  and  wanted  a  firman  to  the  Governor 
of  Akaba,   he  immediately  replied  he  should  be 
happy  to  do  everything  in  his  power  for  me,  and 
would  take  the  necessary  steps  immediately.    Gene- 
ral  Stanton  had   previously  said  to  me  that  he 
thought  the  firman  should  be  directed  to  the  Sheikh 
of  Akaba,  who  has  the  furnishing  of  camels,  &c,  to 
travellers  going  to  Petra,  but  to  this  I  objected,  say- 
ing that  I  imagined  the  Governor  would  be  the  best. 
The  Consul-General  said  that  I  must  not  expect  the 
Government  to  order  him  to  supply  me  with  camels, 
or  other  animals,  or,  in  fact,  to  do  anything  at  their 
expense;  but  this,  I  said,  I  wished  them  to  do; 
and  on  our  way  to  Nubar  Pasha's,  I  had  explained 
to  him  how  I  was  circumstanced  as  to  the  limited 


funds  at  my  disposal  for  the  expedition.  He  seemed 
to  have  forgotten  that  my  journey  was  at  the  ex- 
pense of  others ;  but  recollected  all  about  it  when 
I  reminded  him  of  it. 

When  we  spoke  to  Nubar  Pasha,  the  General 
asked  who  was  the  proper  person  to  whom  the  firman 
should  be  addressed,  and  the  Minister  seemed  to 
think  it  was  the  Mutsellim  ;  but  he  did  not  know 
anything  positive  on  the  subject,  or  what  the  posi- 
tion of  that  officer  is,  or  the  strength  of  the  detach- 
ment under  his  command.  However,  he  promised 
he  would  see  that  everything  proper  was  done.  I 
had  spoken  to  the  General  about  the  Khedive,  and 
requested  him,  whilst  Nubar  Pasha  was  speaking  to 
some  one  else,  to  ask  His  Excellency  to  present  me ; 
but  he  replied,  that  I  had  better  do  this  myself. 
So  as  soon  as  Nubar  was  disengaged,  I  did  so, 
explaining  my  object,  which  was  to  speak  about 
the  Libyan  Desert,  and  promising  that  I  would  not 
broach  the  subject  of  my  own  expedition.  His 
Excellency  seemed  to  take  this  in  good  part,  and 
said  he  thought  the  Viceroy  would  be  glad  to  see 
me.  So  he  is  to  speak  to  His  Highness  and  let  me 
know.     On  this  I  took  my  leave. 

I  know  that  you  will  be  disappointed,  as  I  am 
myself :  but  what  is  to  be  done  otherwise  ?    I  must 

2  2  2  DISCO  VER  Y  OF  MO  UNT  SINAI. 

move.  Every  day  I  stay  here  I  am  diminishing  the 
funds  for  the  journey  ;  and  to  wait  for  a  favourable 
answer  from  the  Khedive  would  be  simply  madness. 
Return  I  cannot,  without  having  done  what  I  came 
to  do.  As  long  as  I  was  waiting  for  my  instruments 
and  books  to  arrive  out,  I  could  make  an  excuse  to 
myself  for  waiting  for  the  Viceroy's  answer;  but 
now  that  this  excuse  no  longer  exists,  I  am  com- 
pelled to  look  the  naked  truth  in  the  face.  And  I 
cannot  but  admit  that  there  is  not  the  slightest 
prospect  of  success.  BeyerW  said  so  of  his  own  ac- 
cord ;  and  Nubar  Pasha  gave  me  so  to  understand 
this  afternoon.  He  had  not  spoken  to  the  Khddive, 
and  ho  never  intends  to  do  so,  inasmuch  as  he 
would,  in  his  capacity  of  Minister,  advise  Bis  High- 
ness not  to  comply  with  my  request  It  only  re- 
mains for  me  to  act  independently.  The  journey 
overland  I  cannot  undertake :  first,  because  I  am 
not  capable  of  it  physically ;  secondly,  because  of 
the  expense ;  and  thirdly,  because  I  want  to  make 
the  voyage  up  the  Gulf  of  Akaha*  The  sea  trip  will 
cost  nie  very  much  less,  and  by  economy  and 
management*  I  flatter  myself  I  shall  be  able  to 
carry  it  into  execution  I  can  bear  the  sea — like 
it*  in  fact  But  thetv  will  be  little  of  sea,  for  the 
boat  will  coast  all  the  way*  anchoring  most  pro- 

ABU  NAB UT.  223 

bably  all  night,  and  taking  good  care  not  to  leave 
if  there  is  the  slightest  prospect  of  bad  weather.  I 
know  them  of  old.  If  we  are  rather  long  on  the 
voyage  it  cannot  be  helped.  On  every  account, 
then,  it  is  advisable  we  should  start  at  once  ;  and 
therefore,  having  now  made  up  my  mind,  you 
may  rely  on  it  I  shall  expedite  matters  as  much  as 

While  I  think  of  it,  you  had  better  address  your 
letters  to  me  at  the  "  Post  Office,  Suez."  The 
postage,  I  think,  is  only  8d.,  as  it  is  an  English 
post-office.  The  postmaster,  I  am  informed,  is  Mr. 
Levick's  son. 

January  6. — Yesterday,  YakAb  esh  Shellaby 
told  me  he  knew  an  old  and  experienced  dragoman 
who  would  take  me  "  sheepa "  than  any  one  else, 
and  better  too.  This  morning  I  just  went  as  far  as 
the  Consulate  to  see  whether  he  was  there.  Whilst 
I  was  writing  to  you,  YakAb  came  in  with  a  whole 
bagful  of  the  certificates  of  SAyid  Ahmed  Abu 
Nabut,  i.e.,  "  Lord  Ahmed,  the  man  with  a  stick." 
He  is  a  "nobleman,"  wearing  a  green  turban,  as 
being  a  descendant  of  the  prophet,  and  therefore 
entitled  to  be  called  "  S£yid."  I  looked  at  a  few 
of  the  certificates  which  are  certainly  first  rate, 
and  I  have  no  doubt  he  is  a  good  man,  unless,  like 


me,  he  is  too  old  for  my  hard  work.  However,  I 
told  YakAb  I  must  first  see  Mr.  Kogers,  and  then  I 
would  talk  about  engaging  him. 

About  eleven  o'clock  I  went  again  to  the  Consulate 
and  had  a  long  friendly  talk  with  Mr.  Rogers,  who 
promised  he  would  give  me  letters  to  the  Mutsellim, 
which  might  be  of  use  to  me.  He  then  said  that 
he  had  been  seriously  reflecting  on  what  I  had  told 
him  about  my  intended  voyage  by  sea  to  Akaba, 
and  he  strongly  recommended  me  not  to  undertake 
it.  He  said  it  was  very  hazardous,  and  besides, 
might  be  very  tedious ;  as,  if  there  were  bad  weather, 
I  might  remain  an  indefinite  period  at  some  out  of 
the  way  place  unable  to  proceed.  Then,  too,  the 
expense  might  be  increased  immensely  by  the  pro- 
tracted voyage.  He  said  much  more  to  the  same 
effect,  and  concluded  with  the  strong  recommen- 
dation that  I  should  undertake  the  journey  by  land 
on  a  good  quiet  hoi%se  or  mule,  about  which  there 
could  be  no  difficulty  or  uncertainty ;  the  time  being 
defined,  and  in  all  human  calculation  certain,  and 
the  expense  being  also  defined  and  considerably 
less !  All  these  considerations  had  suggested  them- 
selves to  me ;  indeed,  so  hesitating  had  I  become 
on  the  subject,  that,  whereas  I  had  intended  to 
write  to  Mr.  West  at  Suez,  asking  him  to  enter 


into  treaty  for  a  boat,  I  changed  my  mind,  and  put 
off  doing  so  till  to-morrow.  I  am  glad  I  did,  as  I 
now  see  that  the  boat  voyage  will  not  do  at  all. 
But  then  the  land  journey !  If  you  were  with  me, 
I  imagine  you  would  strongly  object  to  my  under- 
taking it.  Nevertheless,  I  feel  that  I  could  do  it 
safely,  if  not  altogether  comfortably,  on  a  good 
horse  or  mule. 

As  I  came  out  from  the  Consulate  I  met  TakAb, 
to  whom  I  communicated  the  alteration  in  my 
plans.  He,  too,  was  strongly  in  favour  of  the  land 
route.  If  you  were  here  with  me  what  would  you 
recommend  me  to  do?  I  cannot  throw  up  the 
affair ;  and  Milne,  though  a  very  clever  fellow,  and 
most  useful  assistant,  is  quite  incompetent  to  go 
alone :  so  that  if  I  do  not  go  myself,  the  enterprise 
must  be  abandoned,  and  this  I  feel  I  cannot  do.  I 
am,  thank  God,  in  the  enjoyment  of  better  health 
than  I  have  had  for  many  years.  I  feel  quite 
strong,  and  capable  of  enduring  any  reasonable 
fatigue,  and,  with  God's  help,  I  trust  to  get  through 
the  journey  in  health  and  Bafety. 

After  writing  the  foregoing,  I  went  out  and 
called  on  Cook's  head  dragoman,  Alexander 
Howard,  to  ask  him  how  many  days  it  is  to  Akaba 
from  Suez  direct.     He  does  not  know  ;  so  he  sent 

2  26  DISCO  VER  Y  OF  MO  UNT  SINAI. 

out  to  inquire,  and  got  (as  is  usually  the  case) 
various  answers— one  man  saying  it  was  only  four 
days.  All  at  once  he  called  out  to  a  man  passing 
by  "  Nabut ! "  when  an  old  man  came  in,  whom  I 
have  often  seen  hanging  about  without  knowing 
who  he  was.  This  was  Yakftb  esh  Shellaby's  "  Abu 
Nabut."  He  appears  to  be  an  intelligent,  sound, 
hale  old  man.  I  should  hardly  think  he  is  more 
than  sixty.  He  said  the  road  is  eight  or  nine  days* 
easy  travelling :  and  suggested  that  I  might  have  a 
litter,  or  palanquin,  hung  between  two  camels,  one 
before  and  one  behind,  which  is  not  a  bad  idea, 
and  I  think  would  even  be  cheaper  than  buying  a 
horse  :  it  certainly  would  be  easier  for  me.  I  must 
speak  to  Yakftb  about  it.  So  I  wished  them  good 

There  is  one  most  remarkable  thing  Abu  Nabut 
told  us,  namely,  that  near  Ahaba  is  a  mountain 
called  Djebel-en-Nur  (the  mountain  of  light),  on 
which,  the  Arabs  say,  God  spoke  to  Moses  I  and, 
therefore,  they  stop  and  say  their  prayers  there.  I 
could  not  manage  to  extract  from  him  its  precise 
position.  There  is  always  so  much  indefiniteness 
and  confusion  with  their  "  rights  "  and  "  lefts,"  be- 
hind and  before,  that  one  never  can  make  anything 
out  of  what  they  say ;  and  Howard  made  it  worse 


by  pretending  to  know  what  in  fact  he  knew  no- 
thing about.  I  must  try  and  get  at  the  root  of  the 
matter  through  YakAb.  I  should  not  be  surprised 
at  being  told  that  my  discovery  of  Mount  Sinai, 
like  that  of  Harran,  is  nothing  new,  for  that  the 
natives  knew  all  about  it  long  before  me  1  It  is 
very  singular,  nevertheless.  Milne  has  just  come 
in  from  the  petrified  forest,  where  he  has  been  all 
day.  I  told  him  of  my  change  of  plans,  when  he 
simply  asked,  when  we  should  start  ?  That  Djebel- 
en-Nur  sticks  in  my  gizzard.  Mind  it  is  not 
u  Nor,"  which  means  "Jire"  but  "Niir"  " light/ 

January  7. — I  got  up  very  hoarse,  but  a  cup  of 
warm  coffee  and  going  out  in  the  sun  improved  it 
a  good  deal,  and  I  have  no  doubt  I  shall  soon  be 
all  right  again.  To-day  has  been  a  busy  day.  I 
first  went  to  Mr.  Beyerld,  who  has  been  away  on  a 
shooting  expedition  with  Sheriff  Pasha.  We  talked 
of  the  progress  I  was  making  with  Nubar  Pasha, 
and  he  said  he  thought  the  firman  would  obtain  for 
me  every  assistance  in  the  power  of  the  Mutsellim 
to  give ;  but  he  did  not  think  this  would  be 
much.  We  spoke  about  the  Viceroy  and  the 
steamer.  He  said  candidly  that  he  had  hoped  to 
get  it  for  me,  and  had  not  matters  changed,  and 
looked   so    bad   lately,    he   might  have  counted 


on  succeeding.      But  it  is  not  so,   and  that  is 

I  have  omitted  to  say  that  when  I  got  up  this 
morning  I  found  at  my  door  a  letter  from  Mr. 
West,  saying  that  the  "Timsah"  would  cost  £120 
per  day,  or  perhaps  £  1 50,  even  supposing  I  could 
have  it,  which  I  could  not,  without  authority  from 
London.  The  Khddives  boats  are  all  engaged 
with  pilgrims,  except  one  which  has  been  ordered 
to  Massowah,  and  which  I  think  I  might  have  had, 
had  General  Stanton  pressed  it.  But  it  is  of  no 
use  complaining.  A  native  boat  Mr.  West  does 
not  consider  "  prudent "  or  "  expeditious  "  at  this 
time  of  year.  On  this  point  we  are  d'hccord :  so 
there  is  an  end  of  Suez. 

I  now  went  to  talk  with  Yakfib.  On  my  way 
I  was  accosted  by  another  dragoman,  Mohammed 
Abu  something,  who  asked  me  five  pounds, 
and  then  came  down  to  four  pounds  per  diem; 
I  paying  extra  for  the  takkterawdn,  or  palan- 
quin, that  is  to  say,  buying  it  myself,  and  also 
paying  for  an  extra  camel  to  carry  it  I  said  I 
would  think  it  over.  He  did  not  know  the  country, 
however,  though  he  said  he  had  been  once  to 
Akaba,  but  no  further.  With  Yaktib  and  also 
with  Mr.  Rogers  I  had  a  long  talk  about  Abu 

DEAN  STANLE  Y.  229 

Nabut;  inquired  about  his  character  through  the 
Chancellier  of  the  Consulate,  and  after  a  great  deal 
of  talk  I  agreed  to  give  him  five  pounds  per  day 
for  twenty-five  days  from  Cairo,  or  £125;  with 
five  pounds  for  each  day  extra.  This  to  include 
takJUerawdn,  and  everything ;  half  the  amount  to 
be  paid  down,  and  the  remainder  on  our  return  to 
Cairo.  So  I  shall  not  go  to  Suez  at  all.  Going 
from  Cairo  is  an  extra  expense,  but  then  we  save 
railway  to  Suez,  and  the  expense  of  the  hotel 
there,  &c.,  so  that  it  is  not  all  loss. 

I  think  I  see  my  way,  especially  as  I  now  feel 
persuaded  that  Djebel-en-Nur  is  one  of  the  three 
mountains  seen  by  Dean  Stanley.  Abu  Nabut  had 
told  Yakfib  that  three  mountains  were  to  be  seen 
from  the  plain  of  the  Arabah  near  Akaba,  of  which 
the  Djebel-en-Nur  is  one,  and  that  when  we  get 
there,  he  will  show  it  me  through  the  telescope  ! 
What  a  wonderful  thing  it  will  be!  and  Dean 
Stanley  saw  it  without  knowing  it,  just  as  Dr. 
Porter  went  to  Harran  without  knowing  it  to  be 
"  the  Harran." l  When  I  came  back  from  the 
Consulate  I  found  letters  from  Messrs.  Tod  advising 
me  of  the  despatch  of  my  two  cases  by  railway, 
the  agent  here  saying  I  may  expect  them  to-day  or 

1  See  Mm.  Beke's  "Jacob's  Flight."   Introd.  p.  5. 


to-morrow.  So  this  is  all  right,  and  everything 
seems  to  be  going  on  as  well  as  I  could  desire; 
were  it  not  for  the  confounded  question  of  JUUss : 
but  we  will  try  and  remedy  this  as  you  shall  see. 

The  takhterawdn,  or  palanquin,  will  be  shown  me 
on  approval :  it  seems  to  be  a  sort  of  easy  chair,  in 
which  I  think  I  may  manage  to  sit  for  a  few  hours 
each  day.  I  told  Milne  I  thought  of  starting 
shortly.  All  he  asked  was  a  few  hours'  notice  to 
pack  up  his  mineralogical  specimens!  He  has 
found  some  very  interesting  ones.  I  shall  get  him 
to  make  drawings  of  all  the  stations  of  the  chil- 
dren of  Israel  from  Succoth  to  the  Encampment  by 
the  Red  Sea,  and  thence  to  Rephedim  and  Sinai. 
After  luncheon  I  went  to  the  Consulate,  and  finally 
agreed  terms  with  Abu  Nabut — thirty  days  at  five 
pounds  per  day,  or  £150,  and  five  pounds  for  every 
day  extra. 

I  have  another  proof  that  I  am  right  I  spoke 
to  Abu  Nabut  about  "  Jethro's  Cave,"  which  I  wish 
Milne  to  go  and  see.  He  thought  I  meant  a  cave 
which  ho  says  is  in  the  mountain  near  Akalxi, 
exactly  where  I  place  Pi-ha-hiroth — the  mouth  of 
the  caverns  I  I  start  from  Cairo  direct,  and  shall 
not  enter  Suez,  but  I  shall  write  to  you  from  thence, 
and  shall  come  back  to  Cairo  direct     Your  letters 


you  must  therefore  send  to  the  care  of  Mr.  Rogers 
here,  and  you  must  forward  me  whatever  money  you 
get.  God  help  me !  and  yet  I  am  sure  He  will  not 
abandon  me  in  this  momentous  undertaking.  Mo- 
hammed, who  asked  four  pounds  per  diem,  had  the 
conscience  to  say  he  should  want  £102  for  extras. 
So  after  all  Abu  Nabut  is  the  "sheepest"  Mr. 
Rogers  has  interested  himself  most  kindly  in  the 
matter,  and  thinks  I  could  not  have  done  better. 
I  have  a  thoroughly  experienced  man,  and  a 
Sherrif,  which  is  always  of  value  amongst  these 
people.  The  Hadj  left  for  Mecca  on  the  1 8th  of 
last  month,  so  that  the  road  is  clear. 

You  have  sent  me  some  white  clothes;  but  I 
don't  feel  inclined  to  wear  them,  for  washing  is 
such  a  frightful  price  here.  They  charge  four 
pence  each  for  collars  and  pocket  handkerchiefs, 
and  I  do  not  know  that  they  do  not  charge  the 
same  for  each  stocking !  It  is  ruination  living  here  : 
I  shall  indeed  be  thankful  to  be  off.  Colonel 
Morrieson  has  kindly  called  to  say  that  he  is  going 
to  the  Pyramids  to-morrow,  and  will  take  Milne 
with  him,  if  he  likes.  Of  course  he  accepts  the 
kind  offer,  not  so  much  on  account  of  the  Pyra- 
mids themselves,  as  because  it  will  afford  him  an 
opportunity  of  measuring  the  dip  of  the  Sphinx. 

23  2  DISCO  VER  Y  OF  MO  UNT  SINAI. 

What  a  queer  fellow  he  is  I  He  has  been  out  all 
day  and  brought  home  some  skulls !  The  Ameri- 
can artists  have  said  they  are  coming  out  to  see 
us  off,  and  to  take  a  sketch  of  my  caravan  1  My 
expedition  is  talked  of  a  good  deal,  I  find. 

January  8. — Milne  is  off  to  the  Pyramids,  and  I 
have  been  to  see  Abu  Nabut,  YakAb  esh  Shellaby, 
and  Mr.  Rogers,  about  the  takkterawdn,  having 
doubts  as  to  its  jolting  too  much.  They  assure  me 
it  will  not,  and  Mr.  Rogers  tells  me  he  has  ridden 
in  one  himself.  I  am  now  told  that  Nabut  will  not 
be  ready  to  start  till  Monday  morning,  so  that  we 
shall  have  two  days  more  at  this  hotel,  Pazienza ! 
I  have  corrected  my  "Notes  from   Egypt,"  and 

written  a  letter  to  Mr.  M ,  which  please  send 

off  to  him.  I  have  also  written  a  few  lines  to  Mr. 
Bolton,  at  Stanford's,  which  you  will  send  likewise. 
I  have  told  him  to  keep  the  information  "  private," 
by  which  I  mean  that  he  should  not  publish  it, 
though  I  do  not  object  at  all  to  his  talking  about 
it.  I  enclose  a  letter  to  Mr.  Bates,  the  Secretary 
of  the  Royal  Geographical  Society.  1  send  all  to 
you ;  both  in  order  that  you  may  see  what  I  say, 
and  also  in  order  to  save  postage.  I  have  written 
to  our  friend  Mr.  Thurburn,  asking  him  to  assist 
you  as  to  the  remittance  of  funds.     It  may  be  that 

DR.  BEKE  "  INSPIRED:'  233 

the  best  course  will  be,  if  you  are  pressed  for  time, 
to  get  him  to  telegraph  through  the  Bank  of  Egypt 
in  London,  to  their  agent  here  at  Cairo,  to  pay 
me  at  once  whatever  money  you  may  have  to 
send  me.  This  would  save  my  being  delayed  in 
Egypt  on  my  return,  and  the  consequent  expense 
of  my  staying  at  the  hotel  to  receive  your  remit- 
tance by  letter. 

I  feel  carried  away  by  the  inward  conviction  that 
I  am  right,  and  that  all  things  will  work  together 
for  my  good.  I  feel  that  I  am  doing  the  work  of 
the  Almighty,  and  that  He  will  not  desert  me 
whilst  in  His  service.  I  cannot  resist  the  impulse 
— I  would  call  it  inspiration — but  I  fear  to  be 
thought  profane  and  presumptuous,  which  carries 
me  on  beyond  the  bounds  of  reason,  and  what  is 
called  common  sense.  I  feel  myself  called  on  to  do 
this  work,  and  do  it  I  must,  let  the  consequences 
be  what  they  may.  Besides  which  I  cannot  turn 
back.  Bear  with  and  help  me,  as,  indeed,  I  know 
you  will,  to  the  utmost  in  your  power.  All  will 
yet  come  right,  I  feel  assured,  however  black 
things  may  look  just  at  present.  Thank  God,  I 
keep  my  health  pretty  well,  and  I  have  taken  no 
medicine,  except  Dr.  Garrod's  prescription :  but  I 
am  getting  tired  of  the  hotel  food,  and  wish  I  was 


away.  My  cold  has  nearly  left  me.  The  weather 
appears  to  be  setting  in  fine ;  though  it  has  been 
very  cold. 

After  luncheon  I  went  to  the  Consulate  to  sign 
the  contract  with  Abu  Nabut,  and  paid  him  the 
balance  of  first  half.  Then,  not  having  heard  any- 
thing about  the  firman,  I  went  to  General  Stanton. 
He  had  heard  nothing,  and  recommended  me  to  go 
to  Nubar  Pasha's  divan,  at  the  Foreign  Office. 
There  I  told  my  business  to  his  secretary — Somebody 
Bey — and  was  asked  to  take  a  seat.  After  a  while 
His  Excellency  came  out,  and  told  me  in  the  most 
gracious  manner,  that  His  Highness  would  have  much 
pleasure  in  receiving  me  on  Saturday  morning  at 
half -past  ten  or  eleven  o'clock  at  the  Palace  of  Abdin. 
I  thanked  him,  and  said  I  would  not  fail  to  present 
myself  to  His  Highness  at  the  appointed  time.  I 
then  asked  about  my  firman,  when  His  Excellency 
said  it  should  be  made  out  and  sent  to  me  at  my 
hotel,  so  that  I  need  not  trouble  myself  to  call. 
He  shook  hands  with  me  most  cordially,  advancing 
towards  the  door  of  the  anti-chambre,  in  which  we 
were ;  and  so  thanking  him,  to  which  he  replied, 
"  II  n'y  a  pas  de  quoi,"  I  left.  I  thought  it  only 
right  to  go  and  tell  General  Stanton.  He  had 
not  heard  of  it ;  but  said  that  he  would  probably 


be  at  the  Palace  on  Saturday  himself.  He  informs 
me  I  have  only  to  send  up  my  card,  and  Nubar 
Pasha  will  present  me.  I  don't  expect  any  good  to 
come  of  it.  However,  what  I  asked  for  in  this 
respect  at  least,  I  have  got.  With  regard  to  my 
funds  for  the  continuation  of  our  journey  I  find 
matters  are  not  so  bad  as  I  had  fancied  they  were. 
I  had  made  a  mistake  either  in  my  accounts,  or  in 
my  cash ;  for  I  had  taken  it  into  my  head  that  the 
hotel  expenses,  which  will  be  some  forty  shillings 
per  day,  were  forty  shillings  for  each  of  us  I  All  at 
once  I  have  discovered  my  mistake.  I  have  been 
sitting  quietly  in  my  room  all  the  evening  making 
notes  about  Beduins,  &c,  for  the  journey,  and  I  am 
now  going  to  bed  to  sleep,  as  I  trust,  in  peace. 

January  9. — During  the  night  I  have  been 
thinking  of  what  Mr.  West  wrote  to  me  about  the 
steamer  of  the  Viceroy,  which  is  going  from  Suez  to 
Massowah.  This  is  the  vessel  about  which  Nubar 
Pasha  spoke,  saying  that  she  could  not  be  spared ; 
though  he  did  not  tell  me  that  she  had  not  gone  to 
Massowah,  but  was  doing  duty  as  a  tug  in  the  Suez 
Canal,  while  one  of  the  Canal  tugs  was  taking  Mr. 
Vivian  to  Port  Said.  I  have  now  thought  that  if 
she  has  not  yet  left  Suez,  but  is  going  immediately, 
the  Viceroy,  might  be  induced  to  let  her  so  far 


deviate  from  her  direct  course  as  to  take  me  to 
Akaba,  with  my  suite,  the  camels  being  ordered 
on  to  Akaba  to  meet  me  there.  This  would  really 
be  &  fluke — almost  too  good  to  come  true.  But  it  is 
worth  trying  for.  So  I  went  off  this  morning  the 
first  thing  to  Mr.  Beyerld,  and  pressed  him  strongly 
to  use  his  influence  with  Nubar  Pasha,  which  he 
promised  to  do.  His  Excellency  is  not  at  busi- 
ness to-day,  it  being  the  Mohammedan  Sabbath, 
and  General  Stanton  is  out  shooting  with  Sheriff 
Pasha,  so  nothing  can  be  done  with  him  till  to- 

I  then  called  on  Mr.  Rogers  to  ask  him  for  his 
promised  letters,  which  he  says  he  will  have 
written.  We  talked  about  my  taking  small  money. 
He  advises  me  to  take  half  copper  and  half  silver  ; 
but  I  have  decided  to  take  one  pound  in  copper 
to  three  in  silver.  I  have  bought  a  Tcefiya  from 
Yakfrb  for  my  hat,  and  Milne  has  also  bought 
one.  They  are  very  necessary,  as  you  know,  being 
so  great  a  protection  against  the  sun.  On  Mr. 
Rogers's  recommendation,  I  shall  also  take  with  me 
about  twenty-five  pounds  in  gold  to  give  to  Abu 
Nabut  on  the  journey,  in  case  he  should  be  in  need 

of  it. 
The  takhterawdn  is  something  like  a  London 


cab,  only  cot  cm  wheels,  and  without  fixed  sideB 
and  top ;  but  these  are  supplied  by  means  of  cur- 

tains which  may  be  drawn  or  not  h  discretion, 
forming,  in  fact,  sometimes  an  open,  and  at  others 
a  closed  cab.  It  has  a  mattress  and  cushion  to  sit 
upon,  and  a  sloping  footboard  on  which  to  rest  the 
feet,  instead  of  being  stretched  out,  as  I  expected 
they  would  be.  Mr.  Kogers  told  me  it  would  be 
fixed  on  the  two  poles  attached  to  the  camels, 
which  would  have  made  it  jolt  dreadfully ;  but 
Yakub  esh  Shellaby  has  remedied  this  by  suspend- 
ing the  takhterawdn  to  the  poles  by  means  of  ropes, 
which  will  serve  as  springs  or  something  like  them 
— the  poles  themselves  being  slung  beside  the 
camels,  one  before  and  one  behind.  It  is  a  rough 
sort  of   contrivance,   but  not  altogether  uncom- 



fortable.  It  is  certain  I  could  not  perform  the  land 
journey  without  a  palanquin,  and  even  so,  I  should 
be  well  glad  if  I  were  saved  the  land  journey  to 
Akaba.  Besides  the  saving  of  fatigue,  it  would 
give  me  more  time  there,  so  that  by  the  time 
the  camels  arrived,  I  might  be  ready  to  start  for 
Suez,  and  thus  be  back  within  the  month.  This 
afternoon  Colonel  Morrieson  came  to  ask  me  and 
Milne  to  go  out  with  him  for  a  ride,  but  I  declined 
with  thanks.  Milne  is  gone.  Abu  Nabut  has 
been  to  ask  whether  I  would  let  him  have  some 
more  money  at  Akaba  in  case  he  should  want  it  : 
this  I  expected,  and  therefore  consented.  Your 
remittance  had  better  be  sent  to  me  in  circular 
notes.  I  do  not  want  you  to  pay  money  into  the 
Bank  of  Egypt  except  in  case  of  absolute  necessity. 
This  bank  is,  I  am  told,  dearer  in  their  terms  than 
any  other  house.  Tod,  Rathbone,  &  Co.  give  half 
per  cent.,  that  is,  ten  shillings  in  a  hundred  pounds 
more  than  the  bank.  I  trust  I  shall  receive  your 
letters  before  I  start,  so  that  I  may  answer  them ; 
and  also  know  how  you  are :  I  should  not  like  to 
start  without. 

January  10. — A  most  eventful  day.  In  the  first 
place,  I  received  in  the  morning  your  dear  letter  of 
December  31st  and  January  1st,  and  am  glad  to 


hear  you  are  so  much  better,  though  still  not  quite 
well.-  I  am  much  pleased  with  your  letter  to  the 
"Times,"  which  was  very  cleverly  done.  I  had 
already  seen  it  in  the  newspaper  of  December 
30th,  which  was  in  the  reading-room  before  your 
letter  arrived.  I  also  saw  the  notice  in  the  later 
paper,  without  knowing  it  was  from  you.  I 
am  glad  I  got  your  letter  before  I  went  to  the 
Khedive,  because  it  refreshed  my  memory.  I  am 
only  sorry  I  did  not  get  the  extract  from  my 
"Idol  in  Horeb,"  which  I  found  on  my  re- 
turn from  the  Palace.  It  is  precisely  what  I 
was  in  want  of;  and  now  to  tell  you  what 

At  10.30  a.m.  I  started  for  the  Palace  of  Abdin 
dressed  in  black,  with  frock-coat,  and  black  neck- 
tie, being,  as  I  am,  in  mourning.  On  my  arrival 
at  the  Palace  I  was  asked  my  name,  whereupon  I 
gave  my  card.  My  visit  being  expected,  I  was 
requested  to  walk  into  the  waiting-room,  where 
there  was  sitting  one  of  the  persons  in  attendance — 
I  don't  know  his  rank — who  addressed  me  as  Mons. 
le  Docteur,  and  requested  me  to  be  seated.  Coffee 
was  soon  served  to  us  both,  in  the  ordinary  finjoi 
with  filigree  stand.  Other  persons  came  in  on  busi- 
ness, for  whom  also  coffee  was  brought,  and  I  was 


asked  to  take  a  second  cup,  but  I  declined.  Here  they 
drink  coffee  all  day,  as  you  know.  After  a  quarter  of 
an  hour  or  so,  during  which  I  employed  myself 
reading  your  letter,  an  attendant  came  in,  to  say 
that  His  Highness  waa  prepared  to  receive  me.  I 
rose,  but  was  told  to  wait  for  a  minute  or  two. 
Another  official  then  came,  and  said  His  Highness 
was  ready  to  receive  me,  and  asked  me  to  accompany 
him.  We  then  went  up  a  broad  staircase,  thickly 
carpeted,  two  flights  apparently,  when  I  was  shown 
into  a  room,  in  which  were  several  officers  richly 
dressed,  and  others  in  attendance.  From  a  side 
room,  which  was  filled  with  smoke  as  if  it  were  a 
sanctuary-mark  this  as  a  matter  for  after  consi- 
deration — Nubar  Pasha  issued,  and  shook  hands 
with  me,  and  took  me  to  an  inner  room,  close  to 
the  door  of  which  I  was  met  by  a  gentleman  of 
about  forty  years  of  age,  or  perhaps  not  so  much, 
dressed  in  the  usual  European  dress,  with  frock- 
coat  and  tarbush :  he  shook  hands  with  me  most 
cordially,  and  asked  me  to  walk  in.  I  followed 
him  into  a  further  inner  room,  not  quite  clear  in 
my  own  mind  whether  he  was  really  the  Khddive, 
whom  I  had  expected  to  find  seated  in  his 
Divan — as  I  had  found  Mohammed  Ali  Pasha  in 
1 840 — but  these  doubts  were  removed  as  soon  as  I 


saw  there  was  no  one  else  in  the  room,  and  by  his 
desiring  me  to  sit  down  on  a  sofa,  he  himself  taking 
an  arm-chair  close  to  the  window. 

Ismail  Pasha  is  a  very  short,  thick-set  man.  He 
has  a  fine  intelligent  face,  and  seems  very  good- 
natured.  No  one  could  be  more  amiable  and  court- 
eous in  his  behaviour,  which  was  that  of  one  gentle- 
man conversing  on  equal  terms  with  another.  Nubar 
Pasha  sat  in  a  chair  near  the  Viceroy's  end  of  the 
room,  facing  him.  The  conversation  was  commenced 
in  French  by  the  Foreign  Minister,  who  explained  to 
His  Highness  the  object  of  my  journey,  &c,  to  which 
the  Viceroy  listened  attentively,  and  seemed  as  if 
interested  ;  a  pause  ensuing,  I  said  that  the  object 
of  my  soliciting  the  honour  of  being  allowed  to  pay 
my  respects  to  His  Highness  was,  that  in  1840  I 
had  passed  through  Egypt,  and  had  paid  my  re- 
spects to  Mohammed  Ali  Pasha  of  blessed  memory, 
and  that  I  wished  to  do  the  same  to  His  Highness. 

He  expressed  surprise  at  my  having  been  in 
Abyssinia ;  so  I  had  to  explain  all  about  my  repre- 
sentations made  to  the  British  Government  so  long 
in  vain,  and  what  the  late  Mr.  E.  Egerton,  Under- 
Secretary  of  State  for  Foreign  Affairs,  had  said  to 
me,  when   it  was  too   late  to   save    the  country 

£9,000,000,   namely,  "Dr.   Beke,  if  the  Govern- 



ment  had  Mowed  your  advice  and  policy,  there 
would  have  been  no  Abyssinian  captives,  and  no 
Abyssinian  war ! "  This  gave  rise  to  the  remark 
that  persons  in  authority  did  not  like  to  follow  the 
advice  of  savants — or,  as  I  added,  persons  out  of  their 
own  circle — those  not  belonging  to  their  own  corps* 
I  cannot  repeat  the  precise  words  that  were  used  on 
the  subject,  on  which  we  all  three  had  our  say. 

I  then  passed  to  the  subject  of  my  scheme  for 
flooding  the  Libyan  Desert,  as  a  means  of  sup- 
pressing the  slave  trade.1  The  Khddive  said  he 
could  not  understand  how  it  was  known  to  be  below 
the  level  of  the  ocean  :  he  did  not  think  it  had  ever 
been  levelled.  I  spoke  of  the  advantage  it  would  be 
to  commerce  and  civilisation  to  bring  the  sea  near 
to  Kordofan  and  Darf&r ; 2  to  which  His  Highness 
assented,  but  doubted  the  practicability,  not  to 
speak  of  the  expense.  As  to  the  idea  attributed 
to  M.  de  Lesseps,  of  turning  the  waters  of  the 
Nile  into  the  Desert,  it  was  absurd.  I  mentioned 
that  Dr.  Schweinfurth  had  told  me  of  the  French 
project  to  inundate  the  Sahara  behind  Algiers.8 
The  Khedive  said  he  did  not  know  that  Dr. 
Schweinfurth  was,  or  had  been,  in  Egypt.    He  told 

1  See  "Egypt  As  It  Is,"  pp.  329-374.        *  Ibid.  170. 
3  This  project  is  now  actually  in  course  of  operation. 


me  that  a  Russian  subject,  but  had 
undertaken  his  journey  for  Germany. 

I  next  spoke  of  my  having  interested  myself  in 
the  growth  of  cotton  in  Egypt ;  and  that  I  had  pre- 
sented a  "  Memoir  "  on  the  subject  to  Said  Pasha ; 
and  had  published  several  papers  on  the  matter.1 
But  that  in  Said  Pasha's  time  Egypt  was  not  what  it 
is  now,  and  therefore  I  had  not  succeeded  in  accom- 
plishing what  I  wished.  My  project  then  was  to 
connect  Taka  with  Suakin  by  a  Tram  or  Canal,  and 
later  by  a  Railway.9  To  this  His  Highness  said, 
the  one  was  nearly,  if  not  quite,  as  expensive  as 
the  other,  in  the  first  cost ;  and  as  to  the  railway 
wood  could  be  found  to  take  the  place  of  coal. 
This  I  doubt,  but  I  did  not  care  to  say  so. 

I  had  now  been  with  the  Khddive  more  than  a 
quarter,  indeed  the  best  part  of  half,  an  hour.  I 
paused,  and  was  looking  towards  Nubar  Pasha,  as 
if  to  receive  a  signal  from  him  to  leave,  when  an 
animated  conversation  took  place  between  the 
Khedive  and  His  Excellency  in  Turkish,  of  which 
I   understood   only  one   word,   "pecki,"  meaning 

1  "The  Idol  in  HoreV  p.  91.    London  :  Tinsley  Brothers.  1871. 

1  It  would  appear  that  this  scheme  has  been  adopted  by  the  Viceroy 
at  the  instance  of  Mr.  Fowler,  to  whom  Dr.  Beke  also  communicated 
his  plan.  See  "  The  Khedive's  Egypt/'  pp.  353~357  \  "  Egypt  As  It 
Is,"  p.  239. 


"yes,"  "good,"  "very  well" — assent  generally — 
which  the  Prince  kept  repeating  in  reply  to  what 
his  minister  said.  Nubar  Pasha  then  rose,  and  I  did 
the  same.  The  Khedive  rose  also,  and  on  my  thank- 
ing him  for  the  honour  he  had  done  me,  he  asked 
how  long  I  expected  to  be  absent,  "  a  month  or  so  ?  " 
and  whether  I  returned  by  the  way  of  Cairo.  On 
my  replying  in  the  affirmative,  His  Highness  said, 
shaking  hands  with  me  most  heartily,  "  Alors  h, 
votre  retour  j'aurai  le  plaisir  de  vous  serrer  la 
main."  I  again  thanked  him  and  took  leave ;  but 
His  Highness  accompanied  me  out  of  the  inner 
room,  and  halfway  (at  least)  across  the  second 
room  ;  where  I  again  bowed  and  left.  What  think 
you  of  this  reception  ?  But  this  is  not  all.  As  we 
descended  the  stairs,  I  said  to  Nubar  Pasha,  "  Excel- 
lence, I  said  nothing  to  His  Highness  about  the 
steamer  as  I  promised,  but  I  have  now  to  tell 
you  that  I  have  heard  " — and  I  was  beginning  to 
repeat  what  Mr.  West  had  told  me  —  when  he 
stopped  me  by  saying,  to  my  surprise,  "His 
Highness  has  ordered  me  to  communicate  with 
M?Killop  Bey  to  know  whether  it  is  practicable 
to  give  you  a  passage  to  Akaba ;  and  if  it  can  be 
done  it  shall."  I  could  scarcely  believe  this,  espe- 
cially  when    he    added,    "I   must    telegraph    to 


M?Killop  Bey,  who  is  at  Alexandria,  and  will  let 
you  know  when  I  get  his  reply."  On  my  express- 
ing my  hope  that  it  might  be  managed,  he  said 
it  rested  entirely  with  M?Killop,  who  had  the 
entire  charge  of  the  Marine.  His  Excellency  was 
then  going  to  pay  a  few  visits — I  had  accompanied 
him  down  to  the  entrance,  where  he  got  into  his 
carriage — and  would  go  and  telegraph  immediately 
to  Alexandria,  he  said.  I  got  into  my  carriage,  and 
drove  off  likewise  ;  on  my  way  calling  at  Messrs. 
Tod's  to  pay  some  money  for  postage  and  expenses, 
and  then  home. 

On  my  way  I  met  Mr.  Beyerld,  to  whom  I  told  the 
good  news.  He  was  surprised,  as  only  this  morning 
he  had  spoken  to  Nubar  Pasha,  who  told  him  it 
could  not  be  done.  I  have  not  much  expectation 
myself ;  but  I  thought  I  might  do  what  I  could  to 
help  it ;  so  I  sat  down  instantly  and  wrote  a  letter 
to  my  friend  Mr.  Fleming,  asking  him  to  intercede 
with  his  friend  MfKillop  Bey,  and  also  with 
Fedrigo  Pasha.  I  had  only  time  to  write  a  few 
hurried  lines,  and  as  I  was  already  too  late  for  the 
town  post,  I  had  to  send  a  donkey-boy  off  with  my 
letter  to  the  railway  station.  I  must  not  omit  to 
say  that  before  leaving  the  Khedive's  presence,  I 
heard  Nubar   Pasha  speak  about  a  "firman,"  to 

246  DISCO  VER  Y  OF  MO  UNT  SIN  A I 

which  was  replied  "pecki,"  with  a  reverence  on 
the  part  of  His  Excellency,  to  show  that  the  order 
would  be  obeyed.  Whilst  I  was  finishing  my  letter  to 
Fleming,  Mr.  0.,  a  visitor,  on  his  way  from  India  to 
England — a  Madras  civil  servant — came  and  wished 
to  speak  to  me.  Milne  had  already  told  me  he  was 
much  interested  in  my  expedition,  and  introduced 
him  to  me — I  mean  before  I  left  for  Abdin ;  and  he 
had  evinced  so  much  interest  in  my  journey  and 
its  object,  that  I  had  given  him  a  copy  of  my  pam- 
phlet. He  now  came  to  propose  that  he  should  join 
me.  Milne  had  told  me  he  seemed  much  inclined  to 
do  so.  To  cut  a  long  matter  short,  he  consented  to 
give  me  £2,  10s.  per  diem  if  he  went  with  me. 

While  I  think  of  it,  I  wish  you  to  say  nothing 
about  "  Djebel-en-Nur."  From  what  Abu  Nabut 
tells  me,  I  imagine  it  must  be  on  the  wrong  side  of 
the  Wady  Arabah,  and  therefore  not  my  Mount 
Sinai.  But  if  so,  I  suspect  I  have  heard  before  of 
this  "  Mount  Sinai "  somewhere.  The  subject  must 
be  left  till  I  know  something  definite.  I  enclose  you 
the  agreement  entered  into  between  Mr.  Milne  and 
myself.  It  is  dated  to-day ;  but  was,  in  fact,  signed 
last  night.  I  know  he  is  afraid  we  shall  not  be 
back  in  England  by  the  end  of  February.  As  far 
as  the  matter  rests  with  me,  we  shall,  for  I  am  as 



anxious  and  nervous  on  the  subject  as  he  can  pos- 
sibly be.  Master  Abu  Nabut  has  been  and  done 
me  out  of  another  ten  pounds  on  account.  He  is  a 
Nubian,  a  people  noted  for  their  fidelity,  and  he 
seems  an  honest  fellow,  so  I  hope  all  will  go  well 

Now  to  answer  your  dear  letter  this  evening  as 
I  must  post  mine  to-morrow  morning  before  church. 
You  managed  the  "  Times  "  letter  very  nicely.  You 
are  at  liberty  to  make  up  as  many  letters  as  you 
please  from  what  I  write  to  you :  having  more  time 
for  consideration,  you  will  often  express  yourself 
better  than  I  do  in  my  hurry,  and  you  can  leave 
out  anything  you  do  not  approve  of.  By-the-by 
General  Stanton  was  not  at  the  Palace;  at  all 
events  I  did  not  see  him.  He  has  been  most  civil 
and  obliging  as  far  as  forms  go,  and  I  have  no  sub- 
stantial ground,  or  wish  for  believing  him  not  to  be 
willing  to  serve  me,  if  he  could  do  so,  without 
putting  himself  much  out  of  the  way.  I  have  now 
written  likewise  to  Mr.  Kay,  and  to  Fedrigo  Pasha, 
asking  for  their  interest  with  M?Killop  Bey.  I  do 
not  wish  to  leave  a  single  stone  unturned. 

On  my  return  I  shall  want  one  hundred  and 
fifty  pounds,  or,  perhaps,  I  ought  to  say  two  hun- 
dred ;  of  course,  Milne  will  go  on  to  England  direct 
through  Egypt ;  but  I  must  stop  a  few  days  here 


myself,  in  order  to  see  the  Viceroy,  as  His  Highness 
has  invited  me  to  do  so.  I  have  written  to  the 
publishers  about  my  book,  and,  if  I  have  time  for 
this  post,  I  will  send  you  both  this  letter  and  one 
to  Mr.  Heugh  to  forward.  You  will  see  what  I 
say.  If  you  think  fit  you  can  enclose  in  the  pub- 
lisher's letter  a  copy  of  my  agreement  with  Mr. 
Milne ;  and,  should  I  die,  you  must  write  my  book 
for  me,  from  my  materials.  I  will  endeavour  to 
make  them  as  complete  as  possible  during  the  jour- 
ney ;  but  I  trust  in  God,  who  has  so  far  protected 
me,  to  bring  me  home  safely. 

I  see  in  the  "  Times  "  of  the  alteration  in  our  old 
firm  in  King  William  Street,  which  is  now  Blyth, 
Greene,  Jourdain  &  Co.  What  lucky  fellows  Burn- 
Blyth  and  Jourdain  are !  It  is  now  just  twelve 
o'clock,  and  I  am  so  sleepy  I  must  really  go  to  bed. 
My  cough  is  still  a  little  troublesome ;  but  only 
wants  change  of  air  to  remove  it  altogether.  If  I 
am  successful  I  will  date  you  a  telegram  from  "  the 
Crater  of  Mount  Sinai,"  which  please  therefore, 
enter  in  your  list  of  telegram  cyphers  against  the 
word  "  Palace."  The  beauty  of  the  word-tdegrams 
is,  that  if  even  they  should  happen  to  be  misspelt, 
it  does  not  signify. 

January  i  x . — This  morning  I  must  finish,  and 


post  my  letters  before  going  to  church,  so  that  I 
cannot  give  you  any  positive  news  about  the  steamer 
and  the  firman,  or  about  our  starting.  I  am  to 
see  the  takkterawdn  to-day.  The  tent  was  seen  by 
Milne  and  others  yesterday ;  it  is  set  up  behind  the 
New  Hotel,  and  is  said  to  be  a  very  good  one.  It  is 
like  ours  in  Syria,  namely,  the  ordinary  kind,  and 
not  like  the  swell  tents  we  took  with  us  from 
Edgingtons  to  Abyssinia.  I  have  bought  some 
whisky  and  brandy  to  take  with  us  on  the  journey, 
an  umbrella,  and  sundry  little  articles.  If  I  get  the 
steamer  to  Akaba  I  shall  try  to  keep  her  long 
enough  to  allow  me  to  ascertain  the  substantial 
correctness  of  my  views;  in  which  case  I  shall 
write  to  Munzinger  Bey,  to  telegraph  the  news  to 
General  Stanton,  whom  I  shall  ask  to  publish  it. 

It  would  be  very  curious  if  the  news  reached 
Europe  via  Massowah!  There  is  now  a  Govern- 
ment telegraph  line  to  that  place.  I  shall  be  glad 
to  get  away  from  here  on  Milne's  account  as  well 
as  on  my  own.  He  wants  to  be  actively  employed. 
Having  used  up  all  the  geological  facts  that  this 
bare  region  presents  to  him,  he  is  now  hard  at 
work,  studying  Arabic,  Italian,  and  French.  I 
wish  you  would  send  me  out  a  copy  of  my  "  Idol 
in  Horeb,"  containing  the  paper  (Appendix  B)  on 


the  Nile,  for  me  to  make  use  of  on  my  return  ; 
or  the  leaves  would  be  enough,  as  they  contain 
all  that  I  require  to  communicate  to  the  Viceroy. 
Tinsley  will  give  them  to  you  if  you  ask  him. 

January  1 1,  continued. — On  my  way  to  church, 
after  posting  my  letter,  I  met  our  friend  Mr. 
W.  E.  Cooke,  the  artist,  who  had  just  arrived 
in  company  with  Professor  Owen,  and  Mr.  Fowler, 
the  Khedive's  engineer.  I  spoke  to  Cooke  about 
my  expedition,  and  gave  him  a  copy  of  my 
pamphlet,  which  he  said  he  would  look  at.  Pro- 
fessor Owen,  perhaps,  I  may  see  when  I  return. 
He  is  staying  at  Mr.  Fowler's.  Mr.  Cooke  is  at 
the  New  Hotel.  Now  that  the  time  of  departure 
draws  nigh,  I  am  getting  nervous  and  "  funky."  I 
feel  as  if  I  should  like  to  go  back,  if  I  could.  You 
know  it  is  all  fidgetiness;  for  if  I  were  offered 
the  option  of  giving  it  up,  I  should  of  course  re- 
fuse. Still,  I  cannot  help  feeling  nervous.  I  am 
off  my  feed,  and  shall  be  so  till  I  am  off.  I  ought 
not  to  tell  you  all  this ;  but  you  know  me  so  well 
that  I  may  just  as  well  say  it,  lest  you  should 
imagine  me  to  be  so  exaltS  as  not  to  possess  any 
longer  my  ordinary  feelings.  No ;  I  look  at  the 
matter  in  all  its  bearings,  and  I  see  and  feel  that  I 
have  no  easy  task  before  me,  but  one  which  will 


require  all  my  strength,  and  resolution,  and  pre- 
sence of  mind,  to  enable  me  to  cany  it  through. 

As  I  came  out  of  church  I  saw  Mrs.  Stanton, 
and  asked  her  whether  it  would  be  convenient  for 
General  Stanton  to  see  me  to-day.  She  said,  "Yes, 
at  two  o'clock."  After  lunch,  I  was  just  goiug  out, 
when  a  polite  note  came  from  Mrs.  Stanton,  say- 
ing that  the  General  has  an  engagement  at  two 
o'clock,  but  asking  me  to  go  and  dine  there, 
when  I  should  be  able  to  say  good-bye  to  them. 
Of  course  I  accept,  though  I  meant  to  be  packing 
up ;  so  I  must  do  it  now.  But  this  going  out  to 
dine  is  a  bother.  This  morning  I  was  caught 
in  a  tolerably  heavy  shower  of  rain — in  this  place 
where  it  never  used  to  rain — and  had  to  take 
shelter  in  the  tent. 

I  want  to  sit  down  and  write  some  letters,  but 
my  hand  shakes  with  pulling  the  boxes  about  and 
packing,  and  my  mind  shakes  with  thinking  about 
all  things.  I  wish  it  was  all  over,  and  I  on  my 
way  home.  How  happy  I  should  then  be  I  In 
talking  with  a  dragoman  about  Djebel-en-Nur,  he 
tells  me  it  is  seen  from  "  Mount  Sinai,"  sixty-miles 
off.  It  cannot,  therefore,  be  one  of  the  Sinaitic 
group  by  any  possibility.  I  think  it  must  cer- 
tainly be  a  mountain  of  the  range  marked  on  the 

2  s  2  DISCO  VER  Y  OF  MO  UNT  SIN  A  /. 

map  as  Djebel-et-Tih,  extending  across  from  Suez 
to  Akaba  to  the  south  of  the  Hadj  road.  If  so  I 
must  see  it  on  my  right  hand,  as  I  approach 
Akaba.  I  daresay  you  think  I  am  troubling  my- 
self with  what  ought  not  to  concern  me ;  but  it 
does  concern  me,  on  account  of  the  "  tradition," 
which  I  expect  to  find  to  be  of  older  date  than 
that  of  the  "  Sinai  of  Tourists,"  and  is  most  impor- 
tant to  be  used  as  an  argument. 

11.15  p.m. — I  am  just  back  from  General  Stanton's. 
There  was  only  a  small  party,  Colonel  [now  Sir  J.] 
Stokes,  R.E.,  one  of  the  Suez  Canal  Commissioners, 
who  has  just  arrived  from  Constantinople,  and  is 
staying  with  the  Stantons ;  a  Mr.  Greenfield,  the 
contractor  for  the  Alexandria  Breakwater;  Mr. 
Clarke,  the  chaplain ;  and  myself.  Nothing  parti- 
cular took  place.  General  Stanton  was  with  the 
Khedive  this  morning  (not  yesterday),  but  I  was  not 
alluded  to;  in  fact,  the  General  forgot  all  about 
me.  I  told  him  of  my  reception,  and  he  cannot 
make  out  where  it  took  place.  He  never  was  at  any 
place  answering  my  description,  and  thought  my 
reception  was  very  marked  !  He  could  not  under- 
stand how  I  should  have  imagined  that  Nubar 
Pasha  would  hand  me  over  to  a  master  of  the 
ceremonies,  or  allow  any  one,  in  fact,  to  introduce 


me  but  himself ;  to  which  I  replied  that  I  was  not 
very  familiar  with  Court  etiquette.  I  only  recollect 
that  the  Khedive's  grandfather,  Mohammed  Ali 
Pasha,  received  me  sitting  on  his  Divan,  and  I 
naturally  concluded  that  there  would  have  been 
rather  more  ceremony.  The  fact  seems  to  be  that 
I  was  received  in  the  Viceroy's  private  apartments. 
I  told  the  General  I  intended  starting  to-morrow. 
He  said,  he  thought  I  might  stay  two  or  three 
days  longer,  and  let  the  camels  go  on  to  Suez 
without  me,  although  he  admitted  that  the  firman, 
and  the  notice  about  the  steamer,  could  be  sent  on 
to  me  at  Suez,  and  also  that  I  should  be  quite  right 
in  going  to  Nubar  Pasha  to-morrow  morning,  as  I 
intend  doing.  So  I  took  leave  of  him  and  Mrs. 
Stanton  till  my  return  from  Mount  Sinai.  Of 
course,  I  had  their  best  wishes,  &c,  &c. 

January  1 2. — You  will  not  be  prepared  for  the 
blessed  news  I  have  to  tell  you.  This  morning, 
after  breakfast,  I  called  on  Nubar  Pasha  to  ask 
about  the  firman,  and  to  say  I  was  off  to-day.  I 
went  to  his  private  residence,  which  is  much  like 
that  of  any  European  gentleman.  A  female  servant 
was  taking  up  the  breakfast-things  as  I  went  in. 
After  waiting  nearly  half  an  hour  His  Excellency 
came  to  me,  and  presented  me  with   the  firman, 


and  he  then  put  into  my  hand,  to  read,  a  despatch 
from  MfKillop  Bey,  saying  I  could  have  the  steamer 
to  take  me  to  Akaba.  I  could  hardly  hold  the  paper 
for  joy  I  If  I  had  only  known  this  atjirst  I  should 
have  naturally  altered  my  arrangements.  As  it  is, 
I  am  bound  by  my  contract  with  Abu  Nabut,  the 
only  difference  being  that  he  will  go  straight  on  to 
Suez,  where  I  shall  meet  him  by  train,  and  then  take 
him  and  the  cook  on  board  with  me,  so  we  shall  get 
to  Akaba  much  quicker  by  ship  than  by  caravan. 
This  will  involve  an  extra  expense  for  hotel  bill 
here  and  at  Suez.  But  on  the  other  hand  it  will 
very  much  shorten  the  length  of  the  entire  journey, 
for  which  I  am  most  thankful.  I  shall  not  now 
leave  Cairo  till  Wednesday  morning.  Nubar  Pasha 
has  telegraphed  to  M?Killop  Bey  to  ask  when  the 
steamer  will  be  ready.  MfKillop  says  it  will  take 
four  days  for  the  voyage,  and  then  three  days  back 
to  Tor,  to  coal.  Of  course  I  thanked  His  Excel- 
lency most  warmly. 

With  reference  to  Mr.  O.'s  accompanying  us, 
I  had  almost  arranged  with  Abu  Nabut  for  a 
third  traveller,  when  Mr.  0.  told  me  he  is  on 
his  way  home  to  be  married,  and  expects  to  be 
called  to  England  before  the  end  of  February,  and 
on  reflecting  well  over  the  matter,  he  did  not  see 


how  he  could  be  absolutely  sure  of  being  back  in 
time  ;  and  in  such  a  delicate  matter  as  marriage,  he 
could  not  break  his  engagement.  If  he  could  make 
sure  of  being  back  here  by  the  middle  of  February, 
nothing  would  delight  him  more  than  to  go  with  me. 
I  have  explained  to  Mr.  Milne  that,  as  he  is 
pressed  for  time  it  might  suit  his  convenience  to 
go  straight  on  from  Suez  by  steamer  through  the 
Canal  when  we  return,  to  which  he  seems  to  have 
no  objection.  I  am  in  such  a  whirl  in  consequence 
of  this  unexpected  good  luck,  that  I  scarcely  know 
how  to  set  about  what  I  have  still  to  do.  My  first 
task  is  to  communicate  this  good  news  to  you.  I 
have  seen  Mr.  Rogers  who  is  having  the  letters 
written  to  the  Sheikh  of  Akaba,  and  the  Mfidir — 
that  is  his  Egyptian  title — Mutsellim,  is  Turkish. 
My  firman  is  addressed  to  the  Sheikh.  He  is  to 
render  me  every  assistance,  &c,  but  nothing  is  said 
about  expenses.  I. must  be  glad  to  take  what  I  can 
get.  Please  God  all  will  go  well.  Do  your  best, 
dear,  to  help  me,  as  I  know  you  will.  I  am  now 
going  to  see  Mr.  Fowler  before  I  leave,  and  have 
a  talk  with  him  about  a  Canal  from  Taka  to 
Suakin.  This  was  Sir  William  Fairbairn's  sug- 
gestion to  me,  instead  of  a  Tramway.1 

1  '  The  Idol  in  Horeb.'    Appendix  B,  p.  104. 

2 s  6  DISCO  VER  Y  OF  MO  UNT  SINAI. 

January  1 2,  continued. — I  sent  you  very  good 
news  about  the  steamer  this  morning  via  Mar- 
seilles.  I  shall  telegraph  shortly  to  you  to-morrow, 
in  order  to  anticipate  my  last  gloomy  letter  via 
Brindisi.  The  cases  and  Milne's  London  package 
have  gone  off  with  the  camels.  My  camels  with 
the  takhterawdn  stop  behind,  because  Abu  Nabut 
and  Yakfib  esh  Shellaby  have  managed  to  "mis- 
understand my  instructions."  The  chair  of  which 
it  in  reality  consists  is  without  any  covering.  As 
I  told  you,  I  consented  to  its  not  being  closed  in 
like  a  cab  with  windows,  &c.,  but  not  that  it  should 
be  without  covering  against  the  rain  and  the  sun. 
But  they  pretend  that  when  I  waived  the  one  I 
waived  the  other.  This  caused  a  bit  of  a  row,  and 
they  hurried  off  to  do  as  I  intended  they  should. 
In  the  course  of  half  an  hour  I  am  to  see  how  they 
have  complied  with  my  wishes.  If  I  am  riot  satis- 
fied, I  tell  them  I  will  not  go  with  Abu  Nabut. 
The  contract  is  for  a  takhterawdn,  not  a  mere  open 
chair,  so  I  am  clearly  in  the  right.  Meanwhile  I 
have  been  to  tell  General  Stanton  of  my  good  news. 
He  congratulated  me,  but  said  he  did  not  expect  it. 

In  the  morning  I  was  going  to  call  on  Professor 
Owen,  and  through  him  to  make  the  acquaintance 
of  Mr.    Fowler;    but    on    the   way   I    met    him 


coming  to  my  hotel,  though  not  to  call  on  me,  of 
whom  indeed  he  knew  nothing.  We  walked 
together  to  the  hotel,  and  had  an  interesting  talk 
about  my  views,  in  which  he  substantially  agrees ; 
or,  I  should  rather  say,  he  goes  much  beyond  me ; 
believing,  like  Colenso,  not  in  the  untruth  of  the 
history  as  interpreted,  but  in  the  history  itself  I  I 
spoke  about  Mr.  Fowler,  and  he  told  me  that  the 
best  time  was  to  call  on  him  towards  sunset.  As 
I  had  to  go  again  to  look  at  the  takkterawdn,  I  went 
towards  his  house  rather  earlier  than  Owen  said,  and 
luckily  met  Mr.  Fowler  just  as  he  was  coming  out, 
on  his  way  to  Nubar  Pasha's  Divan.  I  walked  with 
him,  and  explained  to  him  my  plan  for  a  Canal 
between  Taka  and  Suakin,  which,  he  said,  would 
be  much  more  expensive  than  a  railway,  and,  there- 
fore, was  not  to  be  thought  of.1  I  gave  him,  how- 
ever, my  paper a  which  you  sent  me,  when  he  said 
he  would  look  it  over  carefully.  I  then  gave  him 
a  copy  of  my  "  Mount  Sinai  a  Volcano,"  a  subject 
in  which,  to  my  surprise,  he  seemed  more  interested 
than  in  my  Canal.  He  condemned  Owen's  open 
assertion  of  his  opinions,  even  if  permissible 
among  men  of  science.      My  moderate  views  he 

1  See  "  The  Khedive's  Egypt,"  p.  353. 

1  See  "  The  Idol  in  Horeb,"  Appendix  B. 




tion  to  bim,  when  I  said  that  I  knew  Mrs.  Tuck, 
Mr.  West's  step-daughter.  This  was  not  the  be- 
ginning of  the  conversation.  He  at  first  congratu- 
lated me  on  my  having  got  the  steamer,  and  asked 
me  when  I  started.  I  told  him  that  my  camels 
started  to-day,  and  that  I  hoped  to  follow  them 
in  a  couple  of  days ;  when  he  said  that  he  should 
like  to  have  some  further  conversation  with  me 
respecting  my  journey,  if  I  would  allow  him,  to 
which  I,  of  course,  assented.  I  must  tell  you  that 
yesterday  he  had  called  my  attention  to  your  letter 
in  the  "Times,"  which  he  fancied  I  might  not 
have  seen  t  After  dinner  he  asked  me  into  his 
room,  which  is  on  the  ground  floor  near  the 
dining-room.  I  had  some  time  ago  given  him  a 
copy  of  my  pamphlet,  he  having  spoken  to  me 
about  my  expedition.  He  is  a  busy,  and  to  some 
extent  an  influential,  person  in  this  country,  as  being 
the  head  of  the  European  Telegraph  Company  in 
Kjjvpt,  and  as  far  as  Aden.  Well,  what  he  wanted 
to  know  was  the  route  I  purposed  taking  when  I 
Ht  art  oil,  &c.  I  knew  perfectly  well  his  object ;  but 
*aw  wo  reason  why  I  should  not  tell  him  what  I 
make  no  secret  of  with  any  one.  I  told  him  of 
the  steamer  being  under  orders  to  go  to  Maasowah, 
to  Ik*  under  the  orders  of  Munzinger  Bey,  which  led 


to  a  conversation  about  this  latter,  when  Mr.  Gibbs 
said  that  he  is  no  longer  at  Massowah,  "  somebody  " 
Bey,  having  been  appointed  in  his  place ;  to  which 
I  answered  that  I  supposed  then  that  he  was  at  Taka. 
I  heard  that  Munzinger l  had  been  conniving  at  the 
slave  trade,  and  had  been  reported.  In  the  course 
of  conversation,  Mr.  Gibbs  said  that  he  should  be 
happy  to  receive,  either  himself,  or  through  the 
agent  at  Suez,  any  communication  I  might  like  to 
make  to  him  whilst  on  my  journey,  which  should 
be  telegraphed  to  London  free  of  expense  to 
me,  for  which  I  thanked  him.  I  think  it  is  a 
chance  I  ought  to  avail  myself  of.  It  will  be 
better  than  writing  letters.  I  told  him  I  wanted 
to  send  a  telegram  to  you,  and  wished  to  know 
whether  I  could  send  one  of  ten  words.  He  at 
first  thought  I  could  not,  but  afterwards  said 
I  could.  He  however  suggested  that  I  should 
not  send  it  till  I  knew  for  a  certainty  when  I 
should  start,  and  said  that  McKillop  Bey  would  be 
here  on  Wednesday,  and  that  he  thought  I  ought 
to  wait  to  see  him.  I  shall  send  my  telegram  off 
to  you  nevertheless,  and  I  told  him  so.  The 
waiting    here    for  McKillop   Bey   will    not    suit 

1  This  official  lost  his  life  in  the  ill-fated  Egyptian  Expedition 
against  Abyssinia  in  1876. 


my  book,  as  I  should  be  paying  hotel  expenses, 
whilst  at  the  same  time  the  camel  hire  is  running 
on.  I  must  endeavour  to  get  on  board  the  steamer 
as  soon  as  possible,  as  I  want  to  have  all  the  time 
I  can  at  Akaba  before  the  camels  arrive.  It  was 
nearly  ten  o'clock  before  I  left  Mr.  Gibbs  to  come 
and  write  to  you. 

Mr.  Milne  is  gone  to  the  theatre.  At  dinner  to- 
night he  nearly  drove  me  into  leaving  the  table — 
I  was  almost  going  into  hysterics  from  a  remark 
he  made.  After  Mr.  Gibbs  had  congratulated  me 
upon  my  having  obtained  a  steamer,  I  said  to 
Milne,  Mr.  Gibbs  wants  to  telegraph  home  the 
progress  of  my  discoveries ;  to  which  he  replied, 
"  What  startling  reports  he  will  give  !  Discovered 
the  Tables  of  the  Law — Milne  half  way  up  the 
cone/'  The  idea  was  so  perfectly  absurd  that  I 
burst  out  laughing.  At  the  same  time,  though  I 
could  not  check  the  laughter,  I  was  so  strongly 
impressed  with  the  serious  and  momentous  nature 
of  information  such  as  I  hope  to  send  home,  that 
the  two  together  almost  overpowered  me.  Milne, 
of  course,  only  looked  at  the  amusing  side  of  the 
question,  and  continued  laughing  and  joking; 
whilst  I,  though  I  could  not  refrain  from  laughing, 
yet  the  serious  view  still  predominated,  till  at  last 


I  had  to  hold  my  head  between  my  two  hands,  and 
cover  my  face — begging,  nay,  entreating  him,  to 
leave  off,  or  I  should  really  have  to  leave  the  room. 
At  length  he  was  quiet,  and  I  recovered  my  equa- 
nimity. But  it  was  a  very  close  run.  My  laugh- 
ing was  with  difficulty  prevented  from  turning  into 
a  good  fit  of  crying  I  When  one  reflects  on  the 
subject,  it  becomes  a  very  serious  one  indeed.  I 
wish  it  were  all  over ! 

Mr.  Milne  has  come  in,  not  having  been  to  the 
theatre  as  he  intended,  but  remained  below  watch- 
ing  the  preparations  for  a  grand  supper,  given  by 
a  Russian  princess,  who  is  staying  in  the  house, 
on  this  their  New  Years  day,  or  rather,  I  be- 
lieve, it  is  to-morrow,  their  1st  of  January,  and 
the  supper  is  for  the  purpose  of-  beginning  the 
New  Year.  It  is  in  a  private  dining-room,  on 
the  opposite  side  of  the  house,  so  that  I  saw 
nothing  of  it,  as  I  came  from  Mr.  Gibbs.  I  fancy 
she  is  a  Madame  de  Bekestow  (toff) — no  "prin- 
cess," unless  incognito. 

January  1 3. — This  morning  I  went  to  call  on 
Nubar  Pasha.  I  was  kept  waiting  upwards  of  two 
hours.  It  was  apparently  his  reception  day,  and 
some  twenty  persons  were  there  with  me,  among 
them  Mr.  Beyerl6,  and  a  Greek  priest  of  rank,  a 


bishop,  I  believe.    Mr.  Beyerld  and  several  others 
went  into  an  inner  room  where  I  fancied  His  Excel- 
lency was ;  but  it  appeared  that  I  was  wrong,  as  after 
a  time  he  came  into  the  room  as  if  from  upstairs, 
walked  quickly  across  it,  we  all  rising  and  salaam- 
ing— I  bowing,  of  course — and  went  straight  up  to 
the  priest,  whose  hand  he  kissed,  and  then  took 
him  into  a  side  room.     After  a  few  minutes  the 
priest  and  a  gentleman  -with  him  came  out  and 
went  away.    Shortly  after  Nubar  Pasha  came  out 
of  the  room  and  crossed  over  to  me.    He  seemed 
not  to  be  best  pleased,  for  he  cut  me  very  short  by 
saying  that  he  had  telegraphed  to  M^Killop  Bey, 
and  as  soon  as  he  heard  from  him  he  would  let  me 
know.     I  explained  to  him  that  I  was  starting 
for  Suez,  and  so  I  left,  he  wishing  me  bon  voyage. 
While    I    was    waiting,   coffee    was    brought    in 
on  a  tray ;    the   coffee  was  in  Jinjals  and    the 
filigree  stands  were  placed  behind  them.     I,  in 
reaching  across  for  mine  to  put   my  cup  in  it, 
knocked  over  the  other  cups  and  upset  the  coffee, 
some  of  which — a  very  little — fell  on  the  cushion 
of  the  divan  I  was  sitting  on.    The  servant  brought 
a  cloth  to  wipe  it  up,  and  on  my  expressing  regret 
he  said,  "  ffa  ne  fait  rien :  fa  porte  le  bonheur  !  " 
Inshailah !  I  said. 


From  Nubar  Pasha's  I  went  to  Mr.  Rogers,  who 
gave  me  letters  to  the  Sheikh,  and  to  the  Governor 
of  Akaba.  I  got  his  dragoman  (chief  clerk)  to 
translate  the  firman,  which  ran  as  follows : — 

"  To  the  SkeOk  of  tie  Arab  Tribe*  at  Akaba. 

"  Dr.  Beke,  an  illustrious  Englishman,  being 
about  to  proceed  to  Tor  for  some  historical  dis- 
coveries, you  are,  on  his  arrival  in  your  district, 
to  receive  him  with  due  reverence  and  respect,  and 
to  give  orders  to  whom  it  may  concern  to  receive 
him  well,  and  assist  him  in  all  his  requirements  for 
facilitating  his  journey,  as  long  as  he  may  be  in 
need  of  the  same.  Cairo  23,  Zilkade  1 290  (Jan.  1 1 , 
1874).  The  seal  of  Ahmed  Kheiry  Pasha,  Moohr- 
d&r  (seal  bearer)  of  His  Highness  the  Kkddive." 

This  is  strong  Enough,  I  trust.  Abu  Nabut  when 
it  was  read  to  him  seemed  very  much  pleased ;  but 
he  wanted  to  see  a  letter  to  the  Governor  of  Akaba 
likewise,  and  was  not  a  little  gratified  when  he  saw 
that  of  Mr.  Rogers.  You  will  see  the  firman  speaks 
of  "  Tor,"  which  is  in  fact  the  traditional  Mount 
Sinai;  but  Mr.  Rogers  says  this  does  not  at  all 
signify.  It  is  sufficient  for  the  Sheikh  to  know  he 
has  the  Khedive's  orders  to  assist  me  in  my  "  dis- 
coveries." I  went  upstairs  to  take  leave  of  Mrs. 
Rogers,  and  then  gave  orders  to  Abu  Nabut  to  be 


ready  to  start  to-morrow  for  Suez.     The  cook  and 
servant  went  off  with  the  camels. 

When  I   went  home    I   found  a  letter  from 
M^Killop  Bey,  telling  me  of  Fedrigo  Pasha  having 
called  and  shown  him  my  letter ;  but  he  had  already 
written  to  Nubar  Pasha  about  the  steamer.     He 
says  she  has  a  small  cabin,  with  the  means  of  cook- 
ing on  board,  &c.      He  has  written  to-day  to  ask 
about  a  pilot,  and  to  suggest  the  painting  of  her 
bottom  before  starting.     (Afterwards  found  to  have 
been  very  necessary,  only  the  paint-brush  slipped 
through  and  made  a  hole  in  her  bottom.)    I  fear 
this  would  cause  delay,  so  I  have  written  off  to  him 
sharp,  begging  him  to  expedite  the  business,  and 
telling  him  I  am  off  to  Suez  to-morrow.    He  finished 
his  letter  by  saying,  "I  must  tell  you  that  the 
'Erin*  is  very  small."     And  Mr.  Fleming,  from 
whom  I  have  since  heard,  says  she  is  not  very  com- 
fortable, so  that  I  must  make  up  my  mind  to  rough 
it.     But  I  hear  from  a  Mr.  Thompson  that  she  is  a 
good  sea-boat,  and  her  commander,  a  Maltese,  a  good 
sailor,  having  brought  her  from  Malta  to  Port  Said 
in  very  bad  weather.    Inshallah  1  it  will  be  all  right. 
In  addition  to  Mr.  Fleming's  letter  I  have  one  from 
Mr.   Kay,   saying  he  had  seen  Captain    Morice, 
MlKillop  s  deputy,  the  latter  being  ill,  and  that  he 

THE  SLA  VE  TRADE.  267 

had  telegraphed  to  me.  He  will  be  here  to-morrow, 
and  hopes  to  see  me,  or  rather  not  to  see  me,  as 
this  will  show  I  am  getting  forward-  He  is  very 
kind,  in  fact,  everybody  is  kind ;  and  God  is  kind- 
est of  all,  in  having  favoured  me  thus  far. 

This  morning  before  going  in  to  luncheon  I  saw 
Mr.  Gibbs,  with  whom  I  arranged  to  send  any  in- 
formation I  might  have  of  importance  to  Mr.  Tuck, 
at  Suez,  for  him  to  telegraph  it  to  Mr.  Gibbs, 
who  would  then  forward  it  to  London,  New  York, 
or  elsewhere,  free  of  expense  to  me.  I  hear  that 
Munzinger  was  here  a  few  weeks  ago  and  has  got 
reinstated.  I  suppose  his  "  explanations  "  were 
deemed  sufficient,  and  all  the  blame  thrown  on  his 
secretary.  It  is  always  the  poor  secretaries  who 
are  wrong!  but  if  I  recollect  rightly,  he  himself 
said  in  one  of  the  public  journals  that  the  slave 
trade  was  being  carried  on,  and  he  was  obliged  to 
shut  his  eyes  to  it.  Perhaps  it  was  this  unusually 
candid  confession  that  offended  the  Egyptian 
Government.  However,  he  is  now  in  favour  again, 
and  the  '  Erin '  is  going  to  Massowah  to  be  under 
his  orders.  I  have  just  heard  from  Colonel  Stokes 
that  the  Khedive  has  issued  orders  that  the  officers 
in  his  service  are  to  appear  in  uniform ;  this  is  in 
imitation  of  Germany. 


Now  to  business.  I  have  been  thinking  about 
my  "  Notes  from  Egypt,"  sent  you  by  last  post,  for 
the  "  Athenaeum."  If  the  editor  inserts  them  it  will 
bring  me  in  only  a  guinea  or  so ;  and  he  may  cut 
out  all  that  most  concerns  me,  just  as  he  has  done 
in  my  review  of  New's  Book.  Now,  although  I 
shall  not  be  paid  for  it,  I  think  it  will  be  better  to 
send  it  to  the  "  Times  "  :  that  paper  is  read  every- 
where, and  by  everybody  that  you  know  in  Eng- 
land and  that  I  know  in  Egypt,  where  numerous 
persons  have  spoken  to  me  or  to  Milne  about  your 
letter.  If  the  "  Times  "  does  not  insert  it,  you  can 
still  send  it  to  the  "  Athenaeum."  So  I  telegraph  to 
you  to  stop  it.  And  now  I  want  you  to  take  the 
trouble  to  copy  it  carefully  out,  making  such  im- 
provements as  you  may  think  desirable.  Just  now 
is  a  good  time  for  the  appearance  of  such  a  letter : 
everybody  being  in  town ;  and  I  am  sure  this  will 
be  of  more  value  to  the  public  and  to  me  than  one 
guinea  from  the  "  Athenaeum,"  payable  April  ist 
— Tom  Fool's  day. 

I  know  now  what  was  the  matter  with  Nubar 
Pasha  this  morning.  It  is  the  New  Year's  day  of 
the  Armenians  as  of  all  the  Eastern  Churches,  and 
when  all  the  world  came  to  congratulate  him,  I 
came  to  bother  him  with  business.     It  was  a  blun- 


der  on  my  part,  which  is  worse  sometimes  than  a 
crime.  I  cannot  work  any  more,  but  must  go  to 
bed.    It  is  half-past  eleven,  and  I  am  quite  tired  out 

Notes  on  Egypt.1 

"  Cairo,  January  1 1,  1874* : — Since  my  arrival 
in  Cairo  on  the  23d  ultimo  my  time  and  attention 
have  been  mainly  concentrated  on  the  arrangements 
for  my  contemplated  visit  to  the  volcanic  region 
lying  to  the  east  of  the  head  of  the  Gulf  of  Akaba, 
where,  in  the  'three  low  peaks'  seen  by  Dean 
Stanley,  and  described  by  him  in  page  84  of  his 
'  Sinai  and  Palestine/  as  being  '  visible  beyond  the 
gap  in  the  hills  on  the  east/  when  he  was  '  going 
northwards  along  the  wide  and  desert  valley  of  the 
Arabah/  I  calculate  on  finding  the  true  Mount 
Sinai — the  said  'gap*  being  the  entrance  to  the 
Wady  Itheniy  described  by  Burckhardt  as  f  leading 
eastward  towards  Nedjed/  and  identified  by  my- 
self with  the  *  JEtham  in  the  edge  of  the  wilder- 
ness '  of  Exodus  xiii.  20,  its  scriptural  name  being, 
as  will  be  perceived,  retained  to  this  day. 

"  Notwithstanding  my  occupations,  I  have  never- 
theless found  time  to  jot  down  a  few  notes  on 
Egypt.     A  few  days  ago   I  paid  a  visit  to  the 

1  Much  of  the  information  contained  in  the  following  "  Notes"  is 
recorded  in  Dr.  Beke's  journal ;  but  I  have  thought  it  well  to  repeat 
it  here,  in  a  more  connected  form. 

*  See  "  Athenseum,"  January  24,  1874,  and  "  Hastings  Observer," 
February  7, 1874,  &c. 

2  7 o  DISCO  VER  Y  OF  MO  UNT  SINAI. 

Museum  of  Egyptian  Antiquities  at  Boulak,  under 
the  able  direction  of  Mariette  Bey,  of  whose  labours 
and  researches  during  more  than  twenty  years  it  is 
the  fruit,  and  with  whom  I  had  the  gratification  of 
holding  a  long  and  most  interesting  conversation, 
the  main  subject  of  our  discourse  being  the  Hyksos, 
or  Shepherd  Kings  of  the  fifteenth,  sixteenth,  and 
seventeenth  dynasties  of  Manetho,  of  whom  he  has 
brought  to  light  so  many  important  relics,  now  pre- 
served in  the  Museum.  Respecting  these  people — 
whose  descendants  of  a  totally  distinct  type  from 
that  of  the  ancient  Egyptians  still  exist  in  the 
vicinity  of  Lake  Menzaleh — Mariette  Bey  says  in 
his  valuable  'Aperju  de  THistoire  d'Egypt,' 
page  41,  'Strong  presumptions  tend  to  make 
us  believe  that  the  patriarch  Joseph  came  into 
Egypt  under  the  Shepherds,  and  that  the  scene 
of  the  touching  history  related  in  Genesis  was 
the  court  of  one  of  these  foreign  kings.  Joseph 
therefore  was  not  the  minister  of  a  Pharaoh  of 
natural  extraction.  It  was  a  Shepherd  King,  that 
is  to  say,  a  Shemite  like  himself,  that  Joseph 
served,  and  the  elevation  of  the  Hebrew  minister  is 
the  more  easily  explained  pn  the  assumption  that  he 
was  patronised  by  a  sovereign  of  the  same  race  as 

"  The  conclusion  thus  arrived  at  by  the  accom- 
plished Egyptologist  from  the  consideration  of  the 
sculptured  remains  of  the  Hyksos  is  so  confirmatory 

NOTES  ON  EG  YPT.  2  7 1 

of  my  hypothesis  that  the  Mitzrites,  under  whom 
the  Israelites  were  in  bondage,  were  not  Egyptians, 
that  I  could  not  refrain  from  dwelling  on  it  in  my 
conversation  with  Marietta  Bey,  and  I  pointed  out  to 
him  that  the  fish  which  the  statues  of  his  Hyksos 
or  Shepherds — my  Mitzrites — are  seen  bearing,  and 
perhaps  offering  to  their  deity,  have  apparently 
some  connection  with  Dagon,  the  fish-god  of  the 
Philistines,1  especially  as  the  Philistines  are  stated * 
to  be  a  branch  of  the  Mitzrites.  This  idea  would 
seem  not  to  have  occurred  to  him  before,  and  he 
said  he  would  at  once  make  une  petite  etude  la 
desstis.  In  connection  with  this  subject  I  may 
remark  further  that  the  latest  '  Egyptian '  autho- 
rities place  the  Barneses  of  Exodus  and  the  land  of 
Goshen,  at  or  near  Ismailia  on  the  Suez  Canal,  alto- 
gether to  the  east  of  the  3 2d  meridian  ;  so  that,  on 
an  impartial  consideration  of  the  entire  subject,  it 
will  be  seen  that  the  difference  is  now  very  small 
between  the  results  of  recent  investigations  and  my 
views  of  forty  years'  standing.  I  trust  that  ere 
long  the  difference  will  become  still  smaller.  From 
Monsieur  Mariette  I  learned  that  the  French  Go- 
vernment are  seriously  contemplating  the  flooding 
of  the  Sahara  behind  Algiers,  by  letting  in  the 
waters  of  the  Mediterranean  from  the  Lesser  Syrtis. 
I  do  not  know  whether  their  acquisition  of  the 
Island  of  Tunis,  of  which  I  have  also  heard,  has  any- 

1  1  Sam.  v.  4.  "  Gen.  x.  13,  14. 


thing  to  do  with  this  project.  Several  years  ago 
there  was  a  talk  of  a  scheme  of  M.  de  Lesseps  to  lay 
the  Libyan  Desert  under  water  from  the  Red  Sea ; 
but  as  I  showed  in  the  f  Athenaeum '  of  August  14, 
1 869,  this  would  be  impracticable  ;  whereas,  on  the 
assumption  that  the  Desert  is  below  the  level  of 
the  Mediterranean,  I  pointed  out  that  its  inundation 
from  the  Greater  Syrtis  or  Gulf  of  Sidra  might  be 
a  work  of  comparatively  little  difficulty.1  How 
immense  its  importance  would  be  I  hope  to  show 
on  a  future  occasion. 

"  On  my  return  from  Boulak,  I  received  a  very 
pleasing  visit  from  Dr.  Schweinfurth  on  his  way 
through  Cairo  to  the  Oasis  Khargeh,  or  Great 
Oasis,  which  he  purposes  exploring  thoroughly. 
From  him  I  learned  several  matters  of  interest 
which  I  will  now  communicate.  The  well-known 
Italian  traveller,  Signor  Miani,  died  recently  at 
Khartum.  He  had  penetrated  as  far  to  the  south- 
west as  Schweinfurth  himself,  but  not  being  so 
young  or  so  robust  as  the  latter,  he  sank  under  the 
fatigues  of  a  journey  which,  from  Dr.  Schwein- 
furth's  description  of  it,  now  probably  before  the 
public,  could  be  borne  by  few.  On  the  other  hand 
the  German  traveller,  Dr.  Nachtigall,  has  suc- 
ceeded in  traversing  the  hitherto-untrodden  country 
of  Wadai,  where  unhappily  my  young  friend  Vogel 
lost  his  life,  and  in  reaching  Khartum  in  safety,  by 

1  «  The  Idol  in  Horeb,"  p.  91. 

NOTES  OX  EG  YPT.  273 

the  way  of  Darfftr  and  Kordofan.  As  regards 
himself  the  Doctor  assured  me  that  the  report  of 
his  having  received  material  aid  from  the  Khedive 
is  without  foundation,  for  that  he  obtained  only 
the  moral  support  of  the  Egyptian  Government. 
So,  too,  the  assistance  rendered  by  the  Viceroy  to 
Dr.  Rohlfs'  expedition  into  the  Libyan  Desert  has 
been  greatly  exaggerated,  his  subsidy  to  it  being 
limited  to  the  sum  of  £4000  sterling. 

"When  Mr.  Milne  and  I  came  to  Cairo  from 
Alexandria  on  the  23d  ultimo,  nothing  was  more 
striking  to  me,  who  have  visited  Egypt  several  times 
since  1840  (when  I  went  on  my  first  journey  into 
Abyssinia,  but  have  not  been  here  since  1866,  when 
I  passed  through  in  company  with  my  wife  on  our 
way  to  and  from  the  latter  country),  than  the  many 
great  changes  for  the  better  that  have  taken  place 
throughout  Egypt.    When  once  Lake  Mareotis1  and 

1  In  the  "  Times  "  of  February  1,  1878,  a  correspondent  says : — 
"  The  second  public  work  which  is  proposed  is  the  draining  and 
bringing  under  cultivation  Lake  Mareotis.  ...  At  present  it  is  a  vast 
marsh,  90  miles  in  circumference,  and  its  basin  is  8ft  below  the 
level  of  the  sea,  which  is  so  close  that  at  Aboukir  a  strong  sea  wall 
is  necessary  to  prevent  inundation.  At  the  beginning  of  the  century 
it  was  almost  dried  up.  Portions  of  it  were  even  cultivated,  and 
many  villages  had  risen  up  in  its  bed.  But  the  English,  under 
General  Hutchinson,  in  their  siege  of  Alexandria  in  1801,  deemed 
it  a  step  justified  by  war  to  let  in  the  sea  at  Aboukir  in  order  to 
shut  off  the  besieged  French  Army  from  all  communication  with 
Cairo.  The  strategical  move  was  successful,  but  a  vast  tract  of 
country,  200,000  acres  in  extent,  and  40  villages  were  submerged. 
The  reclamation  of  this  marsh  has  often  been  proposed.  Foreign 
enterprise  has  offered  to  do  it,  provided  that  the  exclusive  enjoyment 



the  dreary  waste  on  the  western  side  of  the  Rosetta 
branch  of  the  Nile  are  passed,  the  country,  far  and 
wide,  exhibits  unequivocal  signs  of  improved  and 
extended  cultivation.  I  am  told  that  whereas  in 
1850  there  were  only  two  millions  and  a  half  of 
acres  under  culture,  there  are  now  at  least  five 
millions.1     The  cotton  harvest  is  just  at  an  end, 

of  the  reclaimed  land  is  granted  for  a  certain  term  of  years.  Such 
a  proposal  has  recently  been  renewed  by  a  Dutch  company,  whose 
nationality  guarantees  a  knowledge  of  the  science  of  irrigation. 
Hitherto  their  proposal  has  not  been  accepted,  and  it  is  said  that  the 
point  of  difference  lies  in  a  natural  insistence  on  the  part  of  the 
Khedive  that  the  reclaimed  land  should  be  subject  to  the  ordinary 
fiscal  regulations.  The  taxation  of  land  in  Egypt  newly  brought 
into  cultivation  begins  three  years  after  reclamation,  and  gradually 
rises  to  the  level  of  other  freehold  lands  in  their  payments.  Perhaps 
this  difficulty  may  be  surmounted,  or  another  company  may  be 
formed  more  ready  to  accept  what  seems  a  necessary  condition  of 
land  tenure  in  any  country.  The  mere  reclamation  would  only  be 
a  matter  of  time  and  steam  pumping.  Then  would  come  the  more 
difficult  task  of  preparing  the  soil  for  cultivation.  It  is  at  present 
so  impregnated  with  salt  as  to  be  unfit  for  most  crops.  But  the 
Mahmoudieh  Canal,  one  of  the  largest  offshoots  from  the  Nile,  is 
close  by.  From  it  an  abundant  supply  of  water  could  be  obtained, 
and  three  years'  washing  by  periodical  inundation  would  clear  the 
land  from  all  the  salt,  and  leave  a  fresh  virgin  soil  behind  fit  for 
every  kind  of  crop.  Another  beneficial  result  should  not  be  for- 
gotten. Alexandria  is  at  present  the  favourite  haunt  of  fever,  and 
ail  the  doctors  concur  in  saying  our  neighbour  the  marsh  is  the 
cause.  Its  removal  would  obviously  be  an  immense  gain  for  the 
city  in  the  matter  of  health  as  well  as  prosperity ."  See  also  Mr.  E. 
De  Leon's  "  Khedive's  Egypt,"  p.  269 ;  and  Mr.  J.  C.  M'Coan's 
u  Egypt  As  It  Is,"  pp.  248-250. 

1  "  The  land  already  under  cultivation  in  the  Delta  is  not  brought 
to  the  point  of  high  production,  and  there  are  literally  hundreds  of 
thousands  of  acres  not  yet  tilled  or  planted  which  would  amply  re- 
turn the  first  cost  of  reclamation.  All  that  is  wanted  is  more  hands. 
Proposals  have  been  made  to  the  Government  for  the  importation  of 

NOTES  ON  EG  YPT.  275 

and  the  peasants  are  busily  employed  in  cleaning 

Chinese  and  Coolie  labour ;  "but  the  Khedive  has  never  taken  to 
the  idea  very  warmly.  He  is  tired  of  the  irrepressible  foreigner 
who  has  oppressed  him  at  every  turn,  and  is  reported  to  have  said 
that  he  certainly  '  would  not  add  to  the  list  of  his  Consular  dictators 
the  name  of  a  Chinese  Consul- General.'  To  those  who  know  how 
some  of  our  diplomatic  agents  here  have  used  their  power  this 
speech  is  not  without  reason."  (See  the  "  Times,"  March  15,  1878.) 
"Three  schemes  are  now  more  or  less  discussed,  and  all  are  of 
vital  interest  to  the  prosperity  of  the  country.  .  .  .  The  first 
is  the  completion  of  the  Barrage.  .  .' .  Cotton  requires  water 
more  than  any  other  crop,  and  at  a  time  when  the  Nile  is 
lowest.  It  is  now  our  most  important  product,  and  our  expor.s 
have  risen  from  four  millions  to  thirteen.  It  is  fortunate,  there- 
fore, that  the  idea  of  the  Barrage  has  revived  with  new  life.  The 
science  of  irrigation  on  a  large  scale  has  enormously  advanced,  and 
what  seemed  difficult  in  1847  is  now  a  work  of  comparative  ease. 
The  vast  dams,  or  annicuts,  in  India  on  the  Canvery,  or  the  Goda- 
very,  or  the  Kistnah  rivers,  are  works  of  a  similar  kind  and  scale, 
and  their  complete  success  is  abundantly  proved  by  the  large  return 
they  make  on  the  capital  expended.  All  experts  are  agreed  that  the 
Barrage  would  bring  under  cultivation  some  hundreds  of  thousands 
of  acres  of  land  now  barren,  and  would  greatly  increase  the  produc- 
tiveness of  much  of  the  cultivated  area  by  the  supply  of  water  at  all 
seasons.  It  must  also  be-  borne  in  mind  that  in  Egypt  every  canal 
by  its  banks  is  a  roadway  as  well  as  a  water  way,  and  thus  doubly 
increases  the  communications  of  the  country.  As  regards  the  cost, 
a  small  water  cess  such  as  is  levied  in  Lombard y  would  speedily  re- 
deem the  capital  expended.  The  estimate,  as  made  by  Mr.  Fowler 
the  Viceroy's  consulting  engineer,  of  the  cost  of  the  Barrage  and  the 
necessary  canalisation,  is  under  two  millions  sterling.  But  the  diffi- 
cult question  remains  how  to  obtain  this  capital  at  a  time  when 
Egyptian  credit  is  exhausted,  and  her  revenues  are  mortgaged  up  to 
the  hilt  Two  plans  are  proposed.  The  first  is  to  induce  foreign 
capital  to  take  up  the  schemes  by  the  offer  to  mortgage  the  water 
cess  for  a  certain  number  of  years  and  to  insure  its  fair  and  punctual 
collection.  There  is  little  doubt  that  there  is  private  enterprise 
and  unemployed  money  in  abundance  in  Europe  ready  for  such  a 
scheme,  and  its  adoption  would  only  be  a  question  of  terms.  But, 
say  philo-Egyptians,  this  is  a  public  work  which  ought  not  to  be 

2  76  DISCO  VER  Y  OF  MO  UNT  SINAI. 

and  ploughing  the  land.1  In  one  instance  I  saw 
what  I  do  not  remember  to  have  remarked*  before, 
a  camel  drawing  the  plough.  Green  crops  of  various 
kinds  are  growing  luxuriantly,  and  it  is  pleasing  to 
see  the  animals,  black  cattle,  asses,  sheep,  and  goats, 
grazing  in  the  rich  pasture  without  stint.  Trees 
not  only  line  the  road  on  both  sides,  but  have  been 
planted  so  extensively  that  many  parts  of  the 
country  have  the  appearance  of  being  well-wooded. 
Altogether  the  run  across  the  Delta  on  a  lovely, 
cool,  but  sunny  day,  was  most  delightful,  and  I  am 
not  in  the  least  exaggerating  when  I  say  that  I  was 

made  a  source  of  profit  such  as  any  joint-stock  company  would 
demand.  Moreover,  the  total  absence  of  local  capacity  for  associa- 
tion destroys  one  of  the  main  arguments  in  favour  of  such 
works  being  done  by  private  enterprise.  The  settlement  of  a 
gigantic  foreign  company  in  the  heart  of  the  country  would  not  in 
any  way  teach  the  native  Egyptians  self-help  and  self-dependence. 
Why,  then,  should  not  the  profit  the  strangers  would  demand  be 
kept  at  home  %  The  means  are  at  hand  for  the  State  to  do  the 
work.  At  present  half  a  million  of  revenue  is  annually  set  aside  for 
the  amortizement  of  the  public  debt.  If  this  sinking  fund  were  sus- 
pended only  for  four  years,  the  Barrage  and  the  canals  could  be  con- 
structed ;  the  expenditure  would  be  recouped  in  a  very  few  years 
by  a  water  cess,  which  would  be  a  payment  for  value  received,  not 
a  tax  ;  Egypt  would  be  the  gainer  by  a  vast  public  work  of  great 
permanent  value,  and  the  creditors  would  be  more  secure  in  the 
increased  productiveness  of  the  country.  It  seems  a  golden  but 
not  impossible  picture."  See  the  "  Times,"  February  i  ;  "  Egypt 
As  It  Is,"  pp.  182  and  200-206 ;  and  "  The  Khedive's  Egypt,"  pp. 
202-204  and  236. 

1  The  cotton  crop  of  1875-76  was  3,000,000  can  tars,  the  largest 
ever  known.  That  of  1876-77  was  2,500,000.  See  "The  Idol  in 
Horeb,"  p.  100,  and  also  M'Coan's  "Egypt  As  It  Is,"  p.  192. 

NOTES  ON  EG  YPT.  2  7  7 

often  inclined  to  doubt  whether  I  could  really  be 
in  Egypt.  The  sight,  here  and  there,  of  tall  factory 
chimneys  rising  out  of  the  midst  of  the  villages,  or 
from  among  the  trees,  tended  to  increase  the  illusion. 

"  The  fact  is,  that  Egypt,  though  geographically 
forming  a  part  of  Africa,  is  rapidly  assimilating 
herself  to  Europe,  of  which  she  desires  to  be  re- 
garded as  a  member. 

"The  condition  of  the  lower  classes  generally,  both 
in  town  and  country,  has  likewise  much  improved. 
Ophthalmia,  perhaps  the  greatest  curse  of  Egypt, 
is  far  less  frequent  and  less  virulent.  If  the  people 
are  not  better  fed,  they  have  at  all  events  constant 
food.  Those  in  the  town  seem  to  be  better  clad. 
In  Cairo  shoes  are  worn  much  more  than  for- 
merly, not  merely  the  native  slippers,  but  Euro- 
pean boots.  I  have  just  noticed  a  man  in  the  usual 
native  blue  cotton  frock,  apparently  the  driver  of  a 
hack-carriage,  actually  having  his  boots  blacked  by 
a  lad  scarcely  less  meanly  clad  than  himself.  As 
regards  the  Fellahln,  or  peasants,  they  are  better 
protected  from  the  weather  in  their  mud-huts, 
which  are  generally  much  better  roofed  than  for- 
merly, and  oftentimes  better  built.  In  some  places 
one  sees  dwellings  for  the  labourers  approaching  to  a 
European  type.  On  the  other  hand,  several  of  the 
native  villages  of  the  last  generation  are  deserted, 
and  their  mud-huts  are  rapidly  falling  into  decay. 
Such  must  have  been  the  fate  of  the  "  treasure 


cities"  built  by  the  Israelites  for  Pharaoh  with 
bricks,  which  there  is  no  reason  to  suppose  to  have 
been  burnt  bricks  and  straw ;  and  hence  it  is  intel- 
ligible that  no  traces  of  them  should  now  remain. 

"  No  doubt  there  is  a  dark  side  to  the  picture  of 
Egyptian  prosperity.  The  people,  like  the  Israel- 
ites of  old,  work  not  for  themselves,  but  for  task- 
masters, who  'make  their  lives  bitter  with  hard 
bondage ;  all  their  service,  wherein  they  render 
them  service,  is  with  rigour/  Still,  on  the  whole, 
the  balance  is  decidedly  on  the  side  of  good.  The 
greatest  and  most  important  change,  as  being  likely 
to  be  the  most  lasting,  is,  however,  in  the  climate, 
consequent  on  the  bringing  of  the  land  under  cul- 
ture,  and  on  the  planting  of  trees.1  Egypt  is  fast 
losing  its  proverbial  rainless  character.  At  Alex- 
andria, as  is  well  known,  rain  is  now  so  frequent  as 
to  have  become  a  soured  of  annoyance  ;  but,  until 
quite  recently,  Cairo  has  prided  itself  on  its  almost 
total  exemption  from  rain.  'At  Cairo/  says  the 
new  edition  of  Murray's  "  Handbook,"  '  five  or  six 
showers  would  be  the  (yearly)  average,  and  these 
not  at  all  heavy/  But  I  am  assured,  on  good 
authority,  that  during  last  year  there  were  no  less 
than  twenty-one  or  twenty-two  days  of  rain ;  and 
only  a  week  ago,  since  my  arrival  here,  we  had 
four-and-twenty  hours  of  rain,  as  heavy  and  continu- 

1  See  "The  Khedive's  Egypt,"  p.  61  ;  and 
"Egypt  As  It  Is,"  pp.  352-54. 


ous  as  any  in  London, — in  fact,  a  regular  English 
wet  day.  The  consequence  was,  that  the  unpaved 
streets  were  ancle  deep  in  mud,  and  all  'circula- 
tion *  was  suspended,  except  in  carriages  :  there 
was  even  'riposo'  at  the  Opera  for  want  of  an 
audience.  It  may  easily  be  imagined  that  the  ignor- 
ant  Arabs  attribute  this  extraordinary  change  in 
the  seasons  to  some  supernatural  cause,  and,  as  it 
has  taken  place  since  the  accession  of  Mohammed 
Ali,  they  conclude  that  he  and  his  dynasty  have 
possessed  the  means  of  bringing  it  about.  And  so 
they  have  in  fact,  though  not  in  the  way  imagined 
by  their  superstitious  subjects.  Another  curious 
instance  may  be  given  of  how  these  people  attribute 
results  to  wrong  causes.  It  is  matter  of  history 
that  four-and-twenty  centuries  ago  the  Persian  in- 
vader, Cambyses,  injured  and  destroyed  many  of  the 
monuments  of  ancient  Egypt,  and  among  them  (as 
is  generally  considered)  the  Vocal  Statue  of  Memnon, 
at  Thebes.  It  is  also  matter  of  history  that,  during 
the  present  century,  Professor  Lepsius  defaced  seve- 
ral of  the  existing  monuments  by  depriving  them 
of  their  sculptured  figures  and  inscriptions.  The 
natives  of  the  country,  who  know  nothing  of  dates, 
and  entertain  the  most  vague  notions  respecting 
everything  that  occurred  before  their  own  time, 
having  heard  from  their  fathers  of  Lepsius's  van- 
dalism, but  nothing  of  that  of  Cambyses,  not  un- 
naturally confound  the  one  with  the  other,  and  so 


Dr.  Lepsius  is  asserted  by  them  to  have  been  the 
destroyer  of  the  Vocal  Memnon,  as  if  he  had  not 
already  sins  enough  of  his  own  to  answer  for. 

"  If  the  changes  in  the  agricultural  districts  and 
in  the  climate  of  Egypt  have  been  great,  those  in 
Alexandria l  and  about  the  capital  of  the  country  are 
not  less  so.   The  Khddive  seems  determined  to  make 

1  "The  great  improvement  which  calls  for  accomplishment  [as 
instanced  by  Dr.  Beke  at  page  149]  is  the  removal  of  the  reef  that  bars 
the  entrance  to  the  port  of  Alexandria.  Its  existence  ought  no  longer 
to  be  tolerated.  Shipping  to  the  amount  of  1,300,000  tons  enters 
the  port  every  year.  The  exports  amount  in  value  to  13  millions 
sterling.  The  imports  come  to  5  millions.  The  harbour  works, 
which  are  near  completion,  when  finished  will  have  cost  two  millions 
and  a  half,  and  the  conveniences  then  offered  will  put  Alexandria 
next  to  Marseilles,  Trieste,  and  Genoa  in  the  rank  of  Mediterranean 
ports.  Yet  no  ship  can  enter  the  port  after  nightfall,  and  all  vessels 
of  considerable  draught  cannot  enter  at  all  either  by  day  or  night  in 
stormy  weather.  Alexandria  Bay  is  5  miles  across,  but  as  you 
near  the  harbour  you  find  shoal  water  almost  everywhere,  across 
which  for  more  than  a  mile  stretches  the  new  breakwater.  The  real 
deep-water  channel,  the  only  passage  for  large  ships,  is  not  100  ft 
across,  and  has  the  additional  drawback  of  being  very  circuitous.  Its 
depth  is  only  27  ft.,  so  that  in  rough  weather  vessels  of  deep  draught 
dare  not  venture  in  for  fear  of  touching  the  rock  in  the  trough  of  the 
sea.  Barely  a  month  ago,  during  a  forty -eight  hours'  gale,  the  Austrian 
Lloyd  and  English  mail  steamers  and  several  merchantmen  dare  not 
venture  out  of  harbour,  while  four  large  vessels  tossed  about  outside 
in  the  offing  for  thirty-six  hours, and  the  English  turret-ship '  Rupert' 
actually  put  back  to  Port  Said  rather  than  venture  in.  A  careful 
survey  has  been  recently  made  by  a  skilful  English  engineer  of  the 
amount  of  rock  it  would  be  necessary  to  remove  in  order  to  widen 
and  deepen  the  channel  sufficiently  to  permit  entry  and  exit  at  all 
times  and  in  all  weathers.  The  work  required  proves  by  no  means 
insurmountable.  It  is  said  that  a  tithe  of  what  has  been  spent  on 
the  harbour  would  make  its  entrance  safe,  and  it  seems  penny  wise 
and  pound  foolish  not  to  take  the  matter  in  hand  at  once."  See 
the  "Times,"  Feb.  1,  1878. 

NO TES  ON  EG  YPT.  28 1 

Cairo  the  Paris  of  the  Levant.  The  western  portion 
of  the  city  is  being  almost  entirely  rebuilt,  and 
extensively  enlarged  in  the  direction  of  the  Nile, 
whilst  new  streets  are  being  opened  through  the 
other  quarters.  But  on  this  subject  I  need  not 
dilate.  [Is  it  not  all  written  in  Murray's  '  Hand- 
book;'  '  The  Khedives  Egypt/  p.  47  ;  and  *  Egypt 
As  It  Is,'  p.  5 1  ?]  It  is  only  to  be  hoped  that,  in  his 
zeal  to  modernize  and  Europeanize  Cairo,  the  Viceroy 
will  not  deprive  it  of  its  Oriental  character,  which 
constitutes  its  great  charm  and  attraction. 

"  With  reference  to  Sir  Samuel  Baker  s  Expedi- 
tion, it  is  reported  here,  to  have  cost  half-a-million 
sterling, — I  have  since  been  informed,  on  good 
authority,  that  the  sum  the  Viceroy  is  out  of 
pocket  somewhat  exceeds  ^400,000 — and  according 
to  all  accounts  the  results  are  anything  but  com- 
mensurate with  the  immense  outlay.  However, 
after  his  first  disappointment,  the  Khedive  is  said 
to  be  not  dissatisfied — '  Ce  riest  que  h  premier  pas 
qui  co&te.9  Colonel  Gordon,  who  has  entered  His 
Highness's  service  to  undertake  the  exploration, 
and,  it  must  be  added,  the  conquest  and  annexa- 
tion of  those  southern  regions,  will  know  how  to 
take  up  and  unite  the  broken  threads ;  and  there 
can  be  little  doubt  that  under  his  skilful  manage- 
ment the  policy  of  the  Egyptian  Government  will 
eventually  be  successful.  That  policy  is  broadly 
and  unequivocally  stated  by  Mariette  Bey,  in  the 


Introduction  to  hia  €  Aperju/  already  referred  to  : 
'  History,'  says  he,  '  teaches  us  that  Egypt  is 
bounded  on  the  north  by  the  Mediterranean,  and 
on  the  south  by  the  Cataract  of  Assuan.  But 
history,  in  fixing  these  limits,  does  not  take  into 
account  the  indications  furnished  both  by  geo- 
graphy and  by  ethnography.  At  the  north-east  of 
the  African  Continent,  from  the  sea  to  the  equator, 
there  extends  an  immense  tract  of  country  formed 
v  by  the  river,  and  fertilised  by  it  alone.  On  the 
other  hand,  of  the  various  races  that  people  the 
banks  of  this  river  some  are  uncivilised,  savage, 
and  incapable  of  governing  themselves ;  whilst  on 
this  side  of  the  tropic  we  meet  with  a  nation, 
which,  on  the  contrary,  merits  the  admiration  of 
mankind  on  account  of  its  glory,  its  industry,  and. 
all  the  elements  of  civilisation  contained  in  it. 
History,  then,  ought  rather  to  say  that  Egypt  ex- 
tends wherever  the  Nile  flows,  and  that  consequently 
Egypt  has  the  right  to  claim  as  her  domain  all  the 
countries  watered  by  this  celebrated  river  as  far 
as  they  extend  towards  the  south.9  x  It  would  not 
be  difficult  to  expose  the  fallacy  of  this  reasoning. 
But  all  that  needs  now  to  be  said  is,  that  such 
being  the  avowed  object  of  the  Khedive,  it  is 
manifest  that  the  task  of  the  accomplished  British 

1  It  will  be  seen  that  Mr.  J.  C.  M'Coan  in  his  recent  work, "  Egypt 
As  It  Is,"  p.  3,  note,  has  adopted  word  for  word  Dr.  Beke's  transla- 
tion of  this  important  passage. 

EG  YPT  AS  IT  IS.  2S3 

engineer  officer  who  has  just  entered  His  High- 
ness's  service  in  the  place  of  Sir  Samuel  Baker,  is 
not  only  to  explore  the  basin  of  the  Upper  Nile, 
but  to  enforce  Egypt's  claim  to  all  the  countries 
watered  by  that  river ;  and  that  if  any  man  is  capa- 
ble of  carrying  out  the  ambitious  views  of  Ismail 
Pasha  with  moderation  and  success,  it  is  *  Chinese 
Gordon.' " 

Since  the  foregoing  "Notes"  were  written  by 
Dr.  Beke  in  1874  very  few  changes  have  occurred 
except  in  the  financial  condition 1  of  this  naturally 
highly-favoured  country ;  but  in  spite  of  all  these 
difficulties  with  which  Egypt  has  of  late  had,  and 
has  still,  to  contend,  I  venture  to  predict  that  there  is 
still  a  glorious  future  in  store  for  her.  The  natural 
resources  of  the  country  are  so  great,  that  with 
economy  and  a  moderately  good  government,  and 
the  contemplated  improvements  referred  to  at  pages 
273-275,  280,  one  may  confidently  look  for  a  satis- 
factory result.  The  enormous  advance  which  edu- 
cation has  made  in  Egypt ; 2  the  realisation  of  the 
plans  for  increasing  the  lands,  and  facilities  for 
agricultural  purposes  ;  Dr.  Beke's  and  Mr.  Fowler's 
Soudan  railway8  being  extended  to  Suakin  in  the 

1  See  the  "  Times, "  19th  May  1877. 
2  "  The  Khedive's  Egypt,"  p.  27 1.  *  Ibid.  p.  353. 

2  84  DISCO  VER  Y  OF  MO  UNT  SINAI. 

Red  Sea,  (by  which  the  overland  route  to  India 
would  be  shortened  by  three  days,  and  commerce 
with  the  interior  largely  developed) ;  together  with 
the  noble  efforts  of  Gordon  Pasha  in  the  East  for 
the  suppression  of  the  slave  trade1  and  the  advance- 
ment of  commerce ;  and  those  of  Captain  Burton 
in  the  West,  in  developing  the  mineral  resources  of 
the  country — must  surely  conduce  to  restore  Egypt 
to  the  highest  state  of  financial  prosperity.  If  any- 
thing were  wanting  to  suggest  perfect  confidence 
in  the  future  of  Egypt,  it  would  be  that  Egypt 
should  place  itself  under  the  sole  protectorate  of 
England,  and  abstain  from  further  aggressions  on 

Had  the  British  Government  only  followed  Dr. 
Beke's  policy  and  advice,  and  retained  possession 
of  Abyssinia,  or  at  least  of  Zulla,  in  1868,  the 
;£9,ooo,ooo  which  was  spent  on  the  Abyssinian 
Expedition  would  now  have  been  found  not  to  have 
been  spent  in  vain. 

1  "Egypt  Ab  It  Is,"  pp.  329-374.  See  "Geological  Notes  on 
Cairo,"  by  Mr.  John  Milne,  F.G.S.  Published  by  Triibner  &  Co. 

(    285     ) 



Suez,  January  14,  1874. — We  left  Cairo  at  nine 
o'clock  this  morning  for  Suez,  and  travelled  with 
Colonel  Morrieson.  We  had  a  carriage  to  ourselves 
all  the  way,  which  made  it  very  pleasant  for  conver- 
sation ;  and  having  lunched  and  changed  carriages 
at  Zagazig,  we  arrived  at  Suez  at  seven  o'clock  in  the 
evening.  The  Colonel  is  come  on  to  look  about  him  a 
little,  and  intended  to  go  along  the  Suez  Canal,  and 
stay  a  day  or  two  at  Ismailia ;  but  he  saw  enough 
en  passant  to  satisfy  him.  It  is  a  wretched  place, 
and  although  the  Land  of  Goshen  is  placed  there 
by  M.  de  Lesseps,  Mr.  Holland,  and  others,  it  seems 
pretty  clear  from  geological  evidence  that  the  Israel- 
ites could  never  have  lived  there.  There  is  no  fertile 
soil  down  to  the  rock  I 

On  our  arrival  we  came  direct  to  the  hotel ;  but 

286  DISCO  VER  Y  OF  MO  UNT  SIN  A  /. 

found  it  quite  full.  Having  asked  for  three  rooms, 
and  being  at  first  told  there  were  none,  we  talked 
of  going  somewhere  else,  but  heard  there  were  no- 
thing but  second-class  hotels  (which  I  believe  to  be 
the  fact),  and  that  these  were  also  full,  with  second- 
class  people  of  course.  They  say  that  the  people 
are  staying  here  !  What  they  can  possibly  find  in 
Suez  to  "  stay  for,"  I  cannot  tell ;  but  so  it  appears 
to  be.  After  a  good  deal  of  talk  the  hotel  people 
said  they  could  give  us  one  double-bedded  room,  (out 
of  which  they  had  to  clear  off  lots  of  ladies'  things  I) 
and  they  could  make  up  a  third  bed  in  it,  or  make 
one  up  on  the  sofa  in  the  saloon.  Colonel  Morrieson 
and  I  took  the  bedroom ;  and  Mr.  Milne  the  sofa. 
We  then  had  a  wash  (Milne  in  our  room,  for  he  had 
nowhere  else),  and  then  went  down  to  dinner. 

The  l  Erin '  is  here,  and  is  gone  into  the  har- 
bour. I  hope  it  is  not  to  have  the  bottom  painted, 
as  that  will  take  some  time  to  do.  I  am  half 
inclined,  if  she  is  likely  to  be  long,  to  go  on  with 
the  camels  which  will  be  here  to-morrow  afternoon. 
Time  is  killing  me  !  1 1.30. — I  have  sat  up  in  my 
room  writing  to  Sir  W.  C.  Trevelyan,  Mr.  Scrope, 
and  others.  I  enclose  these  letters  for  you  to  for- 
ward. My  bed-fellow  is  gone  to  bed,  and  is  asleep ! 
January  15. — I  was  up  this  morning  soon  after 



seven  ;  had  a  cup  of  coffee,  and  went  to  call  on  Mr. 
Levick  at  eight.  He  was  very  glad  to  see  me,  and 
we  had  a  bit  of  a  chat.  I  told  him  I  wanted  to  see 
the  proper  authorities;  so  he  sent  me  to  Seid 
Bey — the  something  or  other  here.  I  did  not  see 
him,  but  I  saw  his  deputy,  who  said  it  was  all  right, 
a  telegram  having  been  received  last  night.  But  I 
must  go  and  see  Mohammed  Pasha,  whose  position 
here  I  don't  exactly  know,  except  that  he  is  an  ad- 
miral. He  was  not  up,  but  I  learned  that  he  would, 
in  the  course  of  the  morning,  be  going  in  his  boat 
to  the  harbour  from  the  quay  in  front  of  the  hotel, 
and  I  could  see  him  there.  Abu  Nabut,  who  ac- 
companied me,  suggested  that  I  should  not  make 
myself  too  cheap  by  running  about  after  people  not 
so  big  as  myself;  and  I  could  hear  the  fellow  talk- 
ing about  me  as  one  of  the  Omra  (Emirs,  or 
"  Lords")  of  England.  I  have  no  objection  to  air 
my  dignity ;  but  if  I  am  to  lose  time  by  doing  so, 
I  had  better  put  my  dignity  in  my  pocket.  How- 
ever, I  came  to  the  hotel  and  had  breakfast  at  nine 
o'clock,  and  afterwards,  when  Mohammed  Pasha 
came  down  to  his  boat,  I  went  out  to  him.  He 
was  very  civil  and  polite,  and  said  the  steamer 
should  be  got  ready  at  once,  &c.  All  this  looks 
very  much  like  delay.     I  said  that  my  camels  with 


the  goods  would  arrive  this  afternoon,  and  I  wanted 
to  put  them  on  board.  He  replied  that  the  steamer 
should  be  brought  alongside  the  quay,  and  if  not 
to-day,  my  goods  could  be  left  till  to-morrow,  when 
she  will  come  for  them.  Among  his  attendants 
was  an  Englishman,  (Captain)  Forster  Bey,  the 
harbour  master  here,  who  showed  me  a  very  nice 
letter  from  M?Killop  Bey,  and  said  that  if  it  de- 
pended upon  him,  I  should  have  the  boat  in  a  few 
hours.  But  the  everlasting  Oriental  procrastina- 
tion prevented  him  from  saying  how  long  it  might 
be.  However,  I  might  depend  on  his  doing  all  in 
his  power  to  expedite  matters.  The  '  Erin  *  is  a 
nice  little  boat,  with  good  engines,  and  about 
eighty,  or  perhaps,  a  hundred  tons  burden.  She 
is  quite  sea-worthy,  and  will  have  a  good  captain  ; 
— if  not,  he  said,  he  would  try  and  go  with  me  him- 
self. This  is  all  gammon,  as  she  is  not  coming 
back  to  Suez ! 

My  business  being  thus  far  completed,  I  went  to 
Mr.  Levick  again,  and  saw  Mrs.  Levick,  who  in- 
quired very  kindly  after  you,  &c. ;  after  which  I 
called  on  the  Wests,  but  found  that  Mr.  West  had 
been  called  suddenly  away  to  Ismailia  on  Consular 
business — an  English  ship,  laden  with  coals,  having 
been  wrecked  in  Lake  Timsah  !     Only  fancy  this ! 


Then  I  went  to  see  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Tuck,  and  ar- 
ranged with  the  former  about  sending  messages  to 
Mr.  Gibbs.  I  shall  try  to  send  home  news  from 
Akaba,  ma  Tor. 

On  my  way  back  to  the  hotel  I  saw  Captain 
Kellock,  the  Peninsular  and  Oriental  Company's 
agent  here,  who  was  most  polite  and  attentive, 
placing  himself  quite  at  my  service,  and  offering 
to  assist  me  in  every  way  in  his  power.  Certainly 
the  Peninsular  and  Oriental  Company's  people  are 
the  most  polite  and  obliging  I  ever  came  across  :  it 
is  quite  worth  while  to  make  a  voyage  by  one  of 
their  steamers,  just  to  see  how  comfortable  and 
pleasant  a  voyage  may  be  made  under  all  circum- 
stances, as  you  and  I  know  from  experience.  If 
the  weather  is  bad  for  landing,  or  anything  of  the 
kind,  like  it  was  when  we  arrived  at  Alexandria  in 
the  €  Simla/  the  captain  is  equal  to  the  occasion, 
and  makes  everything  as  comfortable  as  possible 
under  the  circumstances ;  if  it  is  fine  weather  and 
very  hot,  they  are  equally  ready  to  render  every- 
thing agreeable  and  cool.  Besides,  they  are  not 
only  the  most  liberal  company  concerning  their 
passengers,  but  are  ever  ready  to  afford  indepen- 
dent travellers  every  courtesy,  and  the  benefit  of 
the  various  means  at  their  disposal :  so  that,  in  fact, 



they  ought  to  be  called  the  "Philanthropic  and 

After  luncheon  I  was  thinking  of  going  off  on  a 
donkey  to  the  dock,  but  while  I  was  thinking  about 
it,  I  was  told  that  Seid  Bey  had  returned,  so  Milne 
and  I  went  to  him.  He  was  busy  writing  a  letter — 
or  having  it  written  for  him — giving  instructions 
about  my  boat.  He  told  me  that  it  would  come 
up  to  the  quay  this  afternoon,  or,  at  the  latest,  to- 
morrow morning.  During  the  conversation  coffee 
was  served.  Seid  Bey  is  the  most  gentlemanly  man 
amongst  them ;  but  unfortunately  he  speaks  only 
Arabic,  and  I  had  a  very  bad  interpreter,  Abu 
Nabut  having  gone  to  look  after  the  camels,  which 
are  to  arrive  here  from  Cairo  this  afternoon.  By 
and  by,  Mohammed  Pasha  returned  in  his  boat. 
He  has  given  all  necessary  orders ;  the  steamer  is 
being  coaled,  and  will  be  here  to-morrow  morning 
early  without  fail.  So  I  suppose  all  is  right.  If  I  can 
I  shall  start  to-morrow ;  but  I  fear  I  shall  be  dis- 
appointed. The  weather  is  perfectly  lovely.  Suez 
is  frightfully  dull,  having  gone  down  considerably 
since  the  canal  was  opened.  Last  night,  our  bed- 
room being  filled  with  the  luggage  of  us  all  three, 
I  stumbled  over  Colonel  Morrieson's  bag,  and  struck 
my  knee  against  his  portmanteau.     It  hurt  me  a 

THE  "ERIN."  291 

good  deal  at  first,  but  I  don't  think  any  great  harm 
is  done.  My  cough  is  gradually  leaving  me,  as  I 
expected  it  would  with  change  of  air. 

The  camels  are  come  and  I  must  go  down  to  see 
them.  On  going  down  I  found  the  captain  and 
engineer  of  the  steamer,  who  had  come  to  receive 
my  orders.  The  steamer  is  coaled,  and  will  be 
here  the  first  thing  in  the  morning.  She  will  not 
be  able  to  start,  however,  till  Saturday  morning, 
as  the  crew  have  to  provide  themselves  with  food, 
and  the  tide  will  not  serve  till  the  next  morning, 
Saturday ;  when,  please  God,  we  are  to  start,  and 
in  four  days  we  are  to  be  at  Akaba.  The  Captain 
is  a  Maltese,  as  are  also  most  of  the  crew ;  the  engi- 
neer is  an  Englishman.  We  shall  fly  the  British 
flag.  The  pilot  is  an  Arab,  who  knows  the  sea 
well,  and  we  shall  steam  only  during  the  day, 
anchoring  at  night :  the  Captain  has  good  charts, 
so  there  is  nothing  to  fear.  The  '  Erin '  is  sixty-five 
tons,  and  a  screw.  Altogether  everything  promises 
most  favourably. 

The  camels  have  unloaded  in  the  yard  of  the 
hotel,  and  will  go  on  to-morrow.  We  shall,  I  trust, 
be  at  Akaba  three  or  four  days  before  them,  in  which 
time  I  hope  to  have  done  good  business,  so  as  to  be 
able  to  report  favourably  before  the  departure  of 


the  Captain  for  Tor,  to  which  place  I  shall  send  a 
letter  for  you,  and  also  one  for  Mr.  Gibbs.  I  have 
spoken  with  Captain  Kellock,  and  also  with  Mr. 
Edwards,  the  P.  and  0.  Company's  chief  clerk, 
who  are  both  most  kind  and  obliging.  Instead  of 
dining  in  the  hotel,  I  went  and  had  a  "  Manchester 
tea  "  with  our  friends  the  Levicks,  who  are  exceed- 
ingly kind,  and  will  do  everything  to  help  me  as 
regards  letters.  Mrs.  Levick  was  particular  in  her 
inquiries,  and  spoke  much  of  you. 

January  16, — 7  A.M. — A  lovely  morning.  No 
signs  of  the  '  Erin '  yet.  It  will  not  be  high  water 
till  9.30.  I  have  been  thinking  over  our  journey, 
and  about  its  commencing  at  Akaba ;  but,  in  point 
of  fact,  it  begins  here  at  Suez.  What  a  pity  it  is 
I  did  not  know  I  should  have  the  steamer  before  I 
made  my  arrangements,  and  signed  the  contract 
with  Abu  Nabut,  as  it  would  have  saved  me  a  good 
deal  of  useless  expenses,  and  the  funds  of  the  expe- 
dition being  crippled.  You  must,  however,  apply 
to  the  public  for  further  assistance,  and  I  must 
leave  the  matter  in  your  hands.  I  shall  want  money 
when  I  return  to  Egypt. 

Colonel  Morrieson  has  now  got  a  separate  bed- 
room, so  Milne  came  into  my  room  last  night.  It  is 
very  cold  during  the  night :  the  seasons  here  have 






changed  a  good  deal  since  the  canal  was  opened,  it 
being  generally  much  cooler  than  formerly.  Abu 
Nabut  has  just  been  to  me  for  a  written  request  to 
the  chef  du  pont  over  the  canal,  to  let  my  camels 
pass.     So  they  are  off,  thank  God. 

9  a.m. — The  'Erin'  has  arrived  and  is  moored 
nearly  opposite  the  hotel.  She  is  a  nice  little  boat,  but 
small.  The  Captain's  name  is  Emmanuele  Chiassaro, 
or  Sciassar  (pronounced  in  English  Shasskr),  which 
is  the  Genoese  form  of  the  name,  he  being  of 
Genoese  parentage.  He  tells  me  that  he  cannot 
start  before  Saturday  night,  or  Sunday  morning,  on 
account  of  the  crew  being  without  their  pay.  He 
has  been  to  the  Governor  about  it ;  but  it  is  Friday, 
the  Mohammedan  Sabbath,  and  no  work  is  done. 
To-morrow  he  will  telegraph  to  Cairo,  and  all  will 
be  right.    I  doubt  it  much  I 

I  went  with  Captain  Sciassar  to  the  Peninsular 
and  Oriental  Company's  Office,  and  got  a  British 
flag.  The  crew  consists  of  captain  (Maltese),  mate 
(Maltese),  pilot  (Arab),  chief  engineer  (Maltese), 
second  engineer  (Maltese),  four  men  (Maltese),  and 
two  stokers  (Egyptian).  The  '  Erin '  goes  eight  to 
eight  and  a  half  knots  per  hour.  She  has  orders  to 
go  with  me  wherever  I  please,  so  instead  of  stop- 
ping at  Sherm,  near  Has  Mohammed,  to  look  at 


some  volcanoes  there,  which  are  only  interesting 
in  a  geological  point  of  view,  I  have  told  the  Cap- 
tain I  will  stop  at  Ayoun  el  Kassab,1  on  the  other 
side  of  the  entrance  to  the  Gulf  of  Akaba,  which 
place  I  have  hitherto  identified  with,  the  "  Encamp- 
ment of  the  Israelites  by  the  Bed  Sea." 

About  eleven  o'clock  this  morning,  Captain 
Foster  came  to  me  to  say  there  is  a  "  hitch."  The 
Captain  and  crew  are  in  arrears  of  pay,  and  cannot 
(or  will  not)  go  to  sea  unless  paid!  Foster  has 
been  to  Mohammed  Pasha,  and  got  snubbed  !  It 
is  a  question  between  his  department  and  that 
of  MfKillop  Bey  and  the  Egyptian  Government 
Unless  strong  measures  are  taken,  I  may  be  de- 
layed an  indefinite  period!  This  is  pleasant.  I 
went  off  with  him  to  the  Egyptian  Telegraph 
Office,  and  telegraphed  to  Nubar  Pasha;  and 
Foster  is  gone  to  the  English  Telegraph  Office,  to 
telegraph  direct  to  MfKillop  at  Alexandria.  As 
things  now  are  there  is  no  knowing  when  I  may 
start ;  and  the  camels  are  gone  on,  so  I  am  in  a 
hole !    Where  the  expenses  are  to  end  I  know  not. 

Captain  Sciassar  has  been  with  me  to  say  that 
Mohammed  Pasha  has  given  him  orders  to  leave 
with  me  directly,  to  cross  over  to  the  arsenal,  and 

1  See  Dr.  Beke's  "  Mount  Sinai  a  Volcano/'  p.  36. 


take  on  board  five  tons  more  of  coal,  then  to  pro- 
ceed with  me  to  Akaba,  and  after  I  have  dismissed 
him,  to  go  on  to  Massowah  direct  without  coming 
round  to  Tor  for  coal.  The  Pasha  is  leaving  this 
evening  for  Cairo.  But  now  comes  the  hitch.  The 
crew  are  willing  to  go  without  being  paid  up  their 
wages,  but  they  must  have  food  for  a  month,  during 
which  they  may  be  on  their  voyage  to  Massowah  : 
they  cannot  go  without.  I  have  been  thinking  over 
the  matter,  and  have  agreed  with  Colonel  Morrieson 
that  it  would  be  cheaper  for  me  to  advance  them 
the  money,  even  on  the  chance  of  getting  it  back 
than  be  delayed  here.  So  I  told  the  Captain  I  would 
give  him  the  money  if  Captain  Foster  said  it  was  all 
right.  Whereupon  he  went  to  Captain  Foster,  and 
brought  him  to  me.  I  told  him  I  would  advance 
the  money  on  the  skippers  receipt,  and  this  I 
would  send  to  Nubar  Pasha,  requesting  the  amount 
to  be  paid  to  Messrs.  Oppenheim  for  me,  explain- 
ing that  I  did  it  for  the  credit  of  the  Khddive  as 
well  as  myself,  and  also  to  avoid  difficulties ;  for  the 
crew  being  British  subjects,  the  Egyptian  Govern- 
ment have  no  direct  control  over  them,  and  besides, 
could  not  in  any  court  force  them  to  fulfil  their 
engagement,  so  long  as  the  Egyptian  Government 
does  not  fulfil  its  part. 


The  Gordian  knot  was  cut  by  the  following 
telegram  from  MfKillop  Bey,  in  reply  to  Captain 
Foster's  :  "  Pay  the  *  Erin's '  crew  one  month's 
wages."  But  how  to  get  the  money  from  the 
harbour-master's  treasurer  or  cashier,  to-day  being 
Friday  ?  Foster  is  gone  off  for  this :  he  is  a 
capital  fellow.  Before  leaving  he  told  me  of  another 
hitch.  The  English  engineer,  hearing  that  the 
steamer  is  not  coming  back  to  Suez,  refuses  to  go  ! 
so  the  Captain  and  Foster  Bey  have  gone  to  find  an- 
other. But,  perhaps  when  the  Englishman  sees  the 
order  for  the  pay,  he  may  think  better  of  it.  A 
nice  country  this  in  which  to  be  dependent  on 
the  Government ! 

January  1 7. — Yesterday  I  went  and  took  a  Man- 
chester tea  with  Mr.  Andrews ;  afterwards  Colonel 
Morrieson  and  Milne  came  in.  We  passed  a  very 
pleasant  evening  talking  about  Sinai,  &c.  He  has 
all  the  books  on  the  traditional  Mountain,  and  on 
the  Holy  Land.  He  sees  a  good  deal  in  what  I  say ; 
but,  like  many  others,  cannot  be  quite  convinced. 
Whilst  there,  I  had  a  visit  from  two  of  the  officials, 
MfKillop's  cashier  and  another.  They  told  me  the 
money  will  be  paid,  and  I  am  to  be  off  to-day. 
The  engineer  is  displaced ;  the  second  supersedes 
him,  and  a  new  second  engineer  is  to  be  shipped  : 


so  far  so  good.      I  write  this  in  the  morning,  hav- 
ing just  gone  out  to  look  about  me. 

The  schooner  is  getting  up  steam  with  all  her 
might,  and  is  to  come  alongside  of  the  quay  to 
ship  my  things ;  but  the  Captain  is  not  on 
board,  and  I  believe  nothing  till  I  see  it.  I  find  I 
was  wrong  in  describing  the  rig  of  the  '  Erin.'  She 
is  a  schooner,  with  the  addition  of  what  appears  to 
be  a  large  lateen  sail  on  the  foremast.  The  screw 
is  auxiliary.  Under  steam  she  goes  eight  knots, 
but  under  sail  she  can  make  twelve  knots  :  in  fact, 
she  is  said  to  be  a  clipper.  At  sea  we  shall  keep 
within  the  reefs ;  that  is,  close  along  the  shore ;  so 
that  we  shall  not  be  exposed  to  a  heavy  sea,  and 
besides  can  always  run  in  when  the  weather  looks 
at  all  nasty.  Trust  to  an  Arab  pilot  for  taking 
care  of  himself,  to  say  nothing  of  his  ship. 

8.30. — The  British  flag  is  flying  at  the  masthead 
of  the  *  Erin.'  She  will  not  come  up  to  the  quay,  as 
there  is  not  water  enough  ;  so  she  remains  where  she 
was,  and  the  things  are  being  taken  on  board.  I  have 
seen  Captain  Sciassar,  who  has  received  some  money, 
but  not  all.  The  English  engineer,  Clifton,  did  not 
properly  belong  to  the  vessel.  The  second,  now  first, 
is  a  Maltese,  who  has  been  four  years  with  Sciassar. 
The  '  Erin '   is  now  going  over  to  the  arsenal  to 


take  her  coals  on  board,  and  then  will  come  for  me. 
I  am  going  to  breakfast,  and  then  over  to  Mr.  Tuck 
to  telegraph  to  you.    All  this  looks  like  business. 

On  going  out  to  call  on  Consul  West,  who,  I  hear 
has  returned,  I  saw  the  Captain  again,  who  reported 
himself  ready  to  depart,  only  he  was  waiting  for  a 
telegram  from  Cairo  to  say  whether  he  was  to  go  to 
Massowah  or  return  here.  Just  fancy  these  people  I 
It  is  clear  we  shall  anyhow  be  too  late  for  to-day ; 
so  to-morrow  morning,  Inshallah !  at  seven  o'clock 
we  are  to  be  off.  This  delay  is  killing  me  with 
anxiety,  but  what  am  I  to  do?  I  may  mention 
here  at  once,  as  I  am  going  to  write  on  a  different 
subject,  that  when  I  returned  to  the  hotel  at  twelve 
o'clock,  the  steamer,  which  went  off  to  the  arsenal 
for  the  five  tons  of  coal,  had  not  returned.  She 
looked  very  pretty  as  she  steamed  down  the  creek. 
Captain  Foster  called  here  in  my  absence  to  say 
that  the  '  Erin'  is  waiting  the  orders  of  Mohammed 
Pasha,  and  will  not  leave  till  she  receives  them. 
They  are  expected  by  telegraph,  and  will  be 
directed  to  him  at  the  harbour,  whither  he  has 
now  gone.  What  is  to  be  the  end  of  it  all,  I  can- 
not form  an  idea.  If  I  do  not  know  soon,  I  shall 
telegraph  to  Nubar  Pasha  again,  and  shall  continue 
doing  so  till  I  am  really  off.     I  have  put  the  pos- 


tage  stamp  on  my  letter  to  you,  and  shall  leave  it 
with  Mr.  Levick  to  state  the  precise  moment  of  my 
departure  on  the  outside  of  the  envelope ;  so  that 
when  you  get  my  letter  you  will  know  I  am  really 
off—  unless !    But  I  have  no  heart  to  write  about  it 

The  post  from  Cairo  this  evening  will  most  pro- 
bably bring  me  your  letter  by  the  Brindisi  mail, 
which  arrived  at  Alexandria  on  Thursday  evening. 
I  much  desired  to  have  it,  and  yet  did  not  venture 
to  incur  the  delay  and  expense  of  stopping  merely 
for  this,  as  I  have  not  reason  to  expect  any  intelli- 
gence from  you  affecting  my  journey,  and  my  stop- 
ping here  for  more  news  would  simply  be  delaying 
my  return  home  to  you  in  person  just  as  long.  As 
it  is,  duty  and  inclination  go  together,  for  I  must 
wait  Mr.  Levick  is  very  good,  and  will  get  your 
letter  from  the  Egyptian  post-office  as  soon  as  it 
arrives.  I  called  on  Mr.  and  Mrs.  West,  who  were 
glad  to  see  me,  and  invited  me  to  dinner  to-day  if 
/  do  not  go  ! 

3  p.m. — The  'Erin'  is  back  with  her  coal,  and 
there  she  sticks.     The  Captain  is  away,  and  I  am 

;  whilst  I  am  writing  in  he  comes  with  his 

bill  of  health  in  order.  He  only  awaits  the  tele- 
gram, which  ought  to  arrive  now.  I  am  still  afraid, 
but  I  take  it  for  granted,  and  have  ordered  him  to 


light  the  fires  at  six  o'clock  to-morrow  morning,  so 
that  we  may  be  off  at  eight  o'clock.  I  might  have 
made  it  an  hour  earlier,  but  Mr.  Levick  tells  me 
there  is  just  the  chance  of  your  letter  arriving  too 
late  from  Cairo  to  be  delivered  before  the  morning, 
and  I  am  certainly  not  going  to  throw  away  the 
chance  for  a  mere  hour.  Captain  Sciassar  seems 
a  straightforward  fellow  enough — at  all  events,  for 
a  Maltese ! — and  has  navigated  the  Red  Sea  for  four 
years  as  pilot,  master,  and  commander. 

I  waited  till  six  o'clock  for  Captain  Sciassar,  but 
he  never  came  ;  so  after  "  blowing  up"  a  little  to 
Abu  Nabut,  I  said  I  should  go  to  the  Consul.  I 
was  to  dine  with  him  at  half-past  six,  but  thought 
I  would  go  a  little  beforehand  to  consult  with  Mr. 
West  as  to  what  had  best  be  done.  I  had  in  the 
course  of  the  afternoon  looked  in  on  Mr.  Levick, 
who  gave  me  little  hope ;  he  would  not  take  leave 
of  me,  saying  I  was  sure  to  remain. 

When  I  arrived  Mr.  West  was  busy  for  a  while, 
and  then  began  entering  into  my  case  :  but  hardly 
had  he  done  so,  when  a  man  he  knew,  connected 
with  the  Government,  came  with  the  telegram  from 
Cairo,  ordering  Sciassar  to  land  me  at  Akaba,  and 
then  return  to  Suez,  instead  of  going  to  Massowah. 
However,  I  am  to  start  at  once ;  there  is  nothing 


now  to  prevent  me.  I  dined  with  the  Wests ;  Mr. 
and  Mrs.  Tuck  being  of  the  party.  At  about  nine 
o'clock  your  letter  of  the  fifth,  via  Marseilles,  was 
brought  me.  There  is  nothing  particular  in  it  that 
requires  special  notice.  I  am  about  to  start  on  an 
arduous  undertaking,  but  yet  I  do  so  in  perfect 
confidence  and  reliance  on  His  blessing  and  protec- 

January  18. — It  is  just  seven  o'clock,  and  I 
really  do  believe  we  are  going  at  last.  I  got  up 
soon  after  six,  and  after  packing  up  my  things,  I 
have  been  down  to  the  schooner.  I  had  seen  the 
smoke  from  my  window  as  soon  as  I  was  out  of  bed. 
No  one  was  on  deck,  so  I  called  out  lustily,  i  Erin, 
ahoy  ! '  which  brought  some  one  up.  The  Captain 
is  on  shore  at  the  locanda,  where  he  is  staying. 
The  steam  will  be  up  in  a  quarter  of  an  hour.  I 
take  for  granted  that  all  is  right,  and  so  I  came 
home  to  breakfast,  to  close  my  letter  to  you,  to  pay 
my  bill,  and  be  off". 

Post  Office,  7.45. — I  have  just  seen  the  Captain. 
All  is  ready.  We  are  to  start  in  a  quarter  of  an 
hour,  or  as  soon  as  the  tide  will  permit,  which 
may  make  it  a  little  later,  he  says.  But  we  are 
really  off ;  so  I  have  sent  for  our  things  to  be  taken 
on  board,  and  I  now  leave   my  letter  with   Mr. 


Levick  for  you.     God  Almighty  bless  us  both,  and 
prosper  my  undertaking. 

At  Sea,  January  1 8. — As  the  '  Erin '  returns  to 
Suez,  I  shall  send  you  not  only  the  latest  news, 
but  also  my  diary  as  heretofore.  My  notes  will 
require  a  great  deal  of  extension  before  they  are 
ready  for  publication,  and  you  might  help  me 
considerably  in  this.  At  eight  o'clock  I  went  on 
board  the  'Erin'  for  the  first  time.  Colonel 
Morrieson,  who  had  got  up  to  see  us  off,  came  on 
board  with  us,  shook  me  heartily  by  the  hand,  and 
wished  me  all  success.  But  he  had  little  time 
given  him.  The  Captain  came  up  to  me  immedi- 
ately and  asked  if  we  should  start,  to  which  I 
assented,  and  he  took  me  so  sharply  at  my  word, 
that  Colonel  Morrieson  had  to  scramble  out  of  the 
ship  as  best  he  could.  By  five  minutes  past  eight 
we  were  clear.  It  is  a  lovely  morning,  bright  and 
clear,  with  very  little  wind ;  what  there  is,  is  from 
the  north-east.  We  begin  our  voyage  with  the  new 
moon,  and  by  the  time  this  moon  is  out,  I  hope 
to  have  completed  all  the  observations  I  require  to 
make,  and  to  be  nearly  back  at  Suez ;  so  that  I 
shall  literally  be  able  to  fulfil  my  contract  with 
Mr.  Milne,  that  he  is  to  be  back  in  England  by  the 
end  of  February.     I  shall  unavoidably  be  a  little 

AT  SEA.  303 

later,  but  not  much,  I  trust.  Our  journey  to 
Harran,  if  I  recollect  rightly,  occupied  three  months 
and  a  week.  In  that  time;  from  December  the 
8th,  the  day  of  my  departure,  I  ought  to  be  back 
with  you. 

The  'Erin'  is  a  very  nice  little  vessel,  and  was 
originally  a  pleasure  yacht.  I  was  mistaken  about 
her  sails.  She  is  regularly  schooner-rigged,  with 
the  addition  of  an  immense  square  sail  on  her 
foremast ;  this  is  what  I  thought  to  be  a  lateen 
sail,  from  the  way  in  which  it  was  braced  to  the 
mast  when  in  harbour.  She  is  nominally  of 
eighteen  horse  power,  but  works  twenty,  so  says 
the  Captain,  and  she  consumes  as  much  as  one  ton 
of  coal  a  day :  with  twenty  tons  on  board,  there- 
fore, she  has  fuel  for  just  a  three  weeks'  cruise. 

Our  voyage  so  far  has  been  nothing  remarkable. 
We  passed  the  entrance  to  the  Suez  Canal ;  but  of 
course  could  not  see  anything  of  it,  except  that 
there,  and  at  the  entrance  to  the  harbour,  there 
are  most  extensive  works.  There  were  several 
vessels  of  the  P.  and  0.  Company  and  others,  lying 
there,  and  also  three  vessels  of  the  Khedive.  He 
might  have  given  me  one  of  these  ;  but  our  Captain 
says  they  are  none  of  them  fit  for  the  voyage,  their 
Captains  being  incompetent.    After  a  while  I  had 


the  case  of  instruments  from  the  Koyal  Geographical 
Society  brought  up  and  opened,  and  I  took  out 
the  binocular  glass  and  pocket  compass  for  use. 
The  glass  is  an  excellent  one.  At  9. 20  we  passed 
the  *  Zenobia'  lightship,  which  Captain  Sciassar says 
he  placed  there  about  a  fortnight  ago.  The  P.  and  0. 
mail-ship  from  Aden  had  just  passed  us,  and  the 
'  Zenobia '  had  the  Company's  flag  flying,  which  she 
took  down  before  we  came  up.  As  we  had  our  flag 
flying,  she  might  have  saluted  it,  only  she  did  not 

Being  a  good  deal  excited  with  my  morning's 
work,  and  having  slept  but  little  during  the  night, 
I  went  below  and  lay  myself  down  on  the  couch. 
The  cabin  is  small  but  not  nearly  so  bad  as  Milne 
represented  to  me :  it  has  a  couch  along  each  side, 
which  serves  as  a  bed  :  there  is  a  port-hole  on 
either  side,  and  a  sort  of  skylight  in  the  middle, 
so  that  there  is  plenty  of  ventilation.  I  slept  till 
eleven  o'clock,  when  1  went  on  deck  again.  Things 
were  now  getting  a  little  ship-shape  ;  awnings  were 
being  rigged  fore  and  aft :  the  jib  was  set,  but  there 
was  no  wind  to  fill  it ;  and  by  and  by  they  shook 
out  the  great  big  square  sail,  though  to  very  little 
effect,  except  towards  evening,  when  the  wind 
began  to  freshen.  We  have  two  boats,  one  of 
which  is  towed  behind. 


Luncheon  was  served  at  twelve  o'clock.  Whilst 
we  were  having  it,  the  Captain  was  observing  the 
sun,  and  came  and  reported  to  me  that  it  was 
twelve  o'clock,  to  which  I  touched  my  hat ;  I  had 
hardly  the  conscience  to  tell  him  to  "  make  it  so ;" 
but  I  suppose  I  ought,  as  I  am  in  fact  in  command 
of  the  ship,  and  Sciassar  is  only  sailing  master. 

Abu  Nabut  has  been  repeating  to  us  the  Legend 
of  the  Kordn  respecting  Mount  Sinai.1  I  have  a 
notion  that  the  Jebel-en-Ntir  story  is  taken  from 
this  source,  but  we  shall  see.  At  all  events,  it  gives 
me  a  new  idea.  Somehow  or  other  this  Jebel-en- 
Nfir  has  in  my  mind  an  importance,  which  I  know 
not  how  to  account  for. 

Our  lunch  was  set  out  in  regular  dragoman  form. 
We  had  boiled  fowl  and  mutton  together;  then  red 
currant  jam,  cheese,  oranges,  apples,  and  dates; 
winding  up  with  a  cup  of  coffee.  In  the  afternoon 
the  Captain  came  to  me  with  a  bad  finger,  he  told 
me  he  had  had  the  tips  of  two  of  his  fingers  cut  off 
by  an  accident,  and  was  in  the  hospital  for  some 
time,  and  came  out  well,  after  a  fashion.  The  nail 
of  one  had  grown  long  and  round  the  stump,  and 
had  got  pulled  off,  which  had  wretchedly  inflamed 
the  finger;  altogether  it  was  a  very  ugly  affair. 

1  See  Palmer's  "  Desert  of  the  Exodus,"  Appendix  C* 


He  had  had  some  camphor  water  given  him  to 
bathe  it  with,  but  mere  bathing  is  of  no  use ;  so  I 
got  out  my  "  medicine  chest"  when  the  first  things 
I  laid  my  hand  on  were  lint  and  oiled  silk ;  a  piece 
of  the  former  wetted  with  his  camphor  water,  and 
covered  over  with  a  piece  of  the  latter,  served  as 
a  poultice,  and  a  bandage  over  this  put  it  all  in 

The  afternoon  was  passed  in  dolcefhr  nlente  on 
my  part,  chatting,  looking  about,  and  half  dozing 
on  a  divan  on  deck  made  of  our  tents.  Milne 
amused  himself  by  sketching  the  hind  part  of  the 
ship,  and  then  took  my  portrait  and  that  of  Abu 
Nabut.  Mine  is  really  not  so  very,  very  bad ;  you 
would  know  it  to  be  me,  if  you  were  told  so. 

Our  old  pilot  tells  me  he  was  up  the  Gulf  of  Suez 
in  1871-72  with  the  '  Shearwater/  my  good  friend 
Captain  Washington's  old  ship,  and  knows  every 
part  of  it  well.  He  wanted  to  anchor  to-day  at 
4. 1 5  p.m.,  but  the  skipper  said  that  here  he  is  pilot, 
and  he  knew  we  could  reach  the  next  anchorage. 
We  therefore  went  on,  the  wind  freshening  and 
giving  us  a  helping  hand,  so  that  by  six  o'clock, 
half  an  hour  after  sunset,  we  were  safely  anchored 
off  Hamm&m  Fir'6n — the  Bath  of  Pharaoh.  A 
native  boat  was  already  lying  there  at  anchor ;  she 

HAMMAM  FIR'dN.  307 

has  come  from  Suez  to  buy  wood  and  charcoal  of 
the  Beduina  Where  the  latter  get  these  articles 
it  is  not  easy  to  say;  but  this  shows  how  the 
country  is  rendered  barren  and  desert  by  the 
destruction  of  its  vegetation. 

As  it  was  rather  cold,  we  went  below  to  have 
our  dinner,  the  table  being  placed  across  from 
couch  to  couch,  and  we  eating  in  a  half-reclining 
posture,  picnic  fashion.  When  we  came  on  deck 
again,  the  main  awning  (its  sides)  had  been  lowered 
so  as  to  form  a  tent,  and  the  wind  having  fallen,  it 
was  very  jolly  and  comfortable ;  then  I  had  a  chat 
with  the  Captain,  the  crew  lying  about  in  respect- 
ful silence.  He  is  a  very  well-informed  man ;  and 
in  speaking  of  Malta,  he  expressed  himself  decidedly 
opposed  to  the  tradition  which  says  that  St  Paul 
landed  there.  The  real  island  was  Maleda  in  the 
Adriatic ;  but  Melita  or  Malta  was  chosen  because 
it  is  a  bigger  island.  This  is  precisely  what  I  say, 
in  "  Origines  BiblicaB,"  respecting  the  origin  of  the 
erroneous  Jewish  traditions. 

At  nine  o'clock  we  had  a  cup  of  tea,  Milne  and  I, 
the  Captain  having  one  with  us  "  at  my  command," 
as  he  said,  when  I  asked  him  to  join  us,  and  then 
we  turned  in.  Abu  Nabut  has  supplied  us  with 
plenty  of  thick  covering  for  the  desert,  but  here  we 


had  to  turn  off  one-half  of  it :  our  mattresses  we 
did  not  want  at  all,  as  the  ship's  couches  were  suffi- 
cient. Captain  Sciassar  tells  me  he  has  on  board  a 
full  supply  of  bedding,  &c,  for  the  use  of  Munzinger 
Pasha :  he  is  really  a  Pasha,  he  says. 

January  19. — Started  at  5.30  a.m.  I  lay  in 
bed  till  just  nine  o'clock,  when  I  came  on  deck, 
where  we  breakfasted.  A  delightfully  still  sea, 
with  a  nice  breeze,  just  sufficient  to  fill  the  jib 
and  foresail.  I  have  employed  myself  in  writing 
up  my  log  thus  far,  and  Milne  in  "paint- 
ing" the  man  at  the  helm.  The  pilot,  named 
Ramadhan,  sits  day  and  night  in  the  bow  of  the 
ship  by  himself,  looking  constantly  forward  :  when 
he  sees  reason  to  alter  the  ship's  course,  he  rises 
up,  and  motions  with  his  hand  which  way  the 
helmsman  is  to  go.  His  life  cannot  be  a  very  lively 
one ;  but  he  is  so  accustomed  to  it  that  conversa- 
tion seems  rather  an  annoyance  than  otherwise. 
Captain  Nares  [now  Sir  G.  S.],  R.N.,  in  1871-72, 
when  surveying  the  Gulf  of  Suez  and  the  Egyptian 
coast,  did  not  then  go  into  the  Gulf  of  Akaba, 
I  believe.  When  I  told  Ramadhan  that  Captain 
Naress  survey  was  in  the  "  Red  Sea  Pilot" — 
the  new  edition  of  the  "  Sailing  Directions" — he 
was  rather  more  animated  than  usual,  and  asked 


whether  he  was  named.  He  is  paid  seven  francs 
a  day  for  his  work  by  the  Government. 

Our  cabin  is  forward,  then  comes  a  tank  capable 
of  holding  eleven  tons  of  water,  with  which  Captain 
M?Killop  used  to  supply  vessels  in  the  roads ;  but 
which  tank  is  now  filled  with  coal :  then  comes  the 
regular  coal  hold  and  the  engines.  The  cook's 
galley  is  aft,  and  Abu  Nabut  is  generally  there ; 
but  when  wanted,  he  comes  forward  and  discourses 
most  learnedly  on  all  the  places  we  are  passing, 
pointing  out  this,  and  that,  and  the  other,  as  they 
are  all  laid  down  by  the  Ordnance  Survey ;  as  Mr. 
Poulett  Scrope  sarcastically  says,  on  the  map  of  the 
Peninsula,  which  is  more  exactly  drawn  than  the 
map  of  the  county  of  Surrey. 

No  observing  the  sun  to-day.  The  Captain,  like 
the  rest,  is  an  idler.  The  weather  is  lovely,  the  sea 
has  scarcely  a  ripple  upon  it ;  but  there  is  a  nice 
breeze,  only  unfortunately  it  is  from  the  south,  so 
that  it  is  against  us,  and  as  the  current  is  also 
contrary,  we  do  not  go  on  so  fast  as  I  could  wish. 
To-night  we  anchor  at  Tor ;  to-morrow  at  Aiyunah 
(Ayoun  el  Kassab),1  on  the  east  side  of  the  Gulf 
of  Akaba.  Milne  says  he  enjoys  this  "  travelling 
in  the  desert ; "  and  he  may  well  do  so.     He  has 

1  See  Burckhardt'a  "  Travels  in  Arabia,"  p.  430. 

3 1  o  DISCO  VER  Y  OF  MO  UNT  SINAL 

nothing  to  do,  sees  something  fresh  and  of  import- 
ance every  hour  almost,  enjoya  himself  to  his  heart's 
content,  and  has  no  expenses.  But,  my  dearest  Milly, 
you  would  really  have  liked  it  too.  Except  just  at 
last,  and  then  only  for  a  moment  as  it  were,  we  had 
a  lovely  passage  from  Venice  to  Alexandria ;  and 
here  it  is  as  smooth  as  if  one  were  on  the  Thames ; 
and  this  south  wind  blowing  will  be  all  the  better 
for  the  Gulf  of  Akaba,  for  entering  which  Captain 
Sciassar  says  this  is  just  the  proper  season.  So  all 
will  go  well,  please  God ! 

As  Master  Kamadhan  now  says  he  cannot  fetch 
Tor  before  dark,  and  it  would  be  dangerous  to  enter 
then,  he  has  stopped  at  4.30  p.m.  for  the  night, 
at  a  place  just  opposite  the  Kas  Gharib  Light- 
house, which  is  on  the  west  side  of  the  Gulf. 
They  say  it  is  twenty  miles  north  of  Tor,  but  it 
must  be  more.  (I  do  not  write  very  steadily  on 
board  ship,  but  I  hope  you  will  be  able  to  make  it 
out.)  The  crew  set  to  work  fishing,  but  caught 
only  two  small  fish,  though  plenty  of  large  ones 
were  visible. 

Mr.  Milne  went  on  shore  with  the  Captain,  our 
servant,  Hashim,  and  one  man  to  row.  Milne  and 
Hashim  went  up  the  land,  whilst  the  Captain  and 
his  man  collected  shells  on  the  shore.    The  former 

HAS  SHEIKH  EL  BA  TTAN.  3 1 1 

found  the  distance  much  greater  than  they  ex- 
pected, and  were  not  back  till  dark.  We  whistled 
for  them  to  return,  and  then,  as  it  was  cold,  I 
went  below.  They  came  on  board  at  half-past  six. 
Milne  had  a  pocketful  of  specimens,  which  were 
to  be  examined  in  the  morning.  We  dined  below, 
and  then  came  up  into  the  "  tent "  to  chat  and 
have  tea,  and  at  nine  o'clock  we  turned  in. 

January  20. — Off  at  5.30.  We  did  not  get  up 
till  eight  o'clock,  when  we  came  on  deck  to  break- 
fast. It  was  quite  still  and  calm,  the  sky  overcast, 
and  the  sea  like  a  sheet  of  glass,  or  rather  oil. 
After  breakfast  we  prepared  to  examine  our 
specimens,  when  we  found  to  our  surprise  and 
vexation  that  the  boy  Gios6  (Guiseppe)  had  thrown 
them  overboard!  One  specimen  alone  was  pre- 
served, Milne  having  taken  it  below  with  him.  It 
is  a  sandstone,  beginning  to  be  formed  by  drifts  of 
sand  apparently  consolidated  by  calcareous  matter, 
or  perhaps  simply  by  the  rain,  or  the  moisture  of 
the  atmosphere.  It  is  in  layers,  each  of  which  had 
evidently  become  hard  before  the  next  was  laid 
upon  it.  I  noticed  them  when  I  passed  along  here 
from  Tor  in  1843,  when  I  saw  the  footmarks  of 
wild  ducks Jixed  on  the  surface,  which  being  after- 
wards covered  with  another  sand-drift,  would  remain 
in  perpetuity.     Notwithstanding  the  loss  of  his 

3 1 2  DISCO  VER  Y  OF  MO  UMT  S1NAL 

specimens,  Milne  made  a  few  notes,  which  will 
serve  me  to  bring  in  the  subject  of  the  geological 
formation  of  the  pseudo  Mount  Sinai.1  Inshallah ! 
we  will  make  a  useful  book  yet.  There  is  no  chance 
of  our  being  at  Aiyunah  to-night,  and  we  shall 
be  lucky  if  we  get  out  of  the  Gulf  of  Suez. 

At  1 1  a.m.  we  anchored  at  Tor.  Our  flag  was 
hoisted,  which  was  answered  from  the  Governor's 
house.  The  Governor  came  at  once  on  board, 
accompanied  by  several  persons.  The  usual  in- 
quiries were  made,  and  our  bill  of  health  shown. 
He  is  a  quiet,  civil,  middle-aged  man,  who  made  the 
usual  compliments,  and  placed  himself  and  all  about 
him  at  my  service,  &c.  We  told  him  we  wanted 
nothing  but  to  buy  some  meat  for  the  crew,  and 
some  charcoal  for  ourselves !  For  this  purpose  the 
Captain  and  Abu  Nabut  went  on  shore  in  the  Gover- 
nor's boat,  and  Milne  accompanied  them.  I  remained 
on  board  and  copied  out  his  geological  notes  of  last 
night,  as  they  will  be  required  to  work  into  my  book. 
We  are  here  at  the  foot  of  the  pseudo  Mount  Sinai. 

Tor2  is  situated  at  the  edge  of  a  broad  and 
slightly  undulating  plain,  running  back  to  a  granitic 
range  of  hills,  the  highest  of  which  is  Serbal.     The 

1  See  Appendix  A. 

*  See  Dr.  Fraas's  description  of  Tor,  and  account  of  the  coral  for- 
mations in  the  northern  parts  of  the  Red  Sea,  in  his  "  Aus  dein 
Orient"  (Stuttgart,  1867),  p.  184. 


TOR.  313 

houses  are  built  of  coral,  obtained  from  a  mound 
on  the  north  side  of  the  town,  which  on  the  side 
facing  the  sea  forms  a  small  cliff.  There  are  many 
shells  with  the  coral,  which  appears  to  be  in  de- 
tached masses.  If  not  left  there  by  the  sea,  they 
must  have  been  drifted  into  the  mound-shape  form 
they  now  make,  the  latter  is  the  more  probable.  The 
mound  or  mounds  are  about  twenty  feet  high — 
higher  than  the  highest  houses  in  the  village.  The 
people  of  Tor  are  Greek  Christians,  dependent  on 
the  convent  on  (the  tourists')  Mount  Sinai. 

At  noon  the  boat  came  back,  and  we  instantly 
weighed  anchor  and  were  off.  The  orders  to  the 
engineer  are  given  in  "English,"  such  as,  "Torn 
astarn, ' '  &c.  Our  crew  had  purchased  a  pig  and  some 
dried  fish  for  the  voyage.  Mr.  Milne  made  a  rapid 
sketch  of  the  place,  sufficient  for  a  picture.  After 
luncheon  we  docketed  several  shells  he  had  brought 
from  a  mound  some  twenty  feet  above  high-water 
level,  which  had  evidently  been  washed  up  by  the 

In  the  afternoon  the  wind  freshened,  and  as  we 
are  approaching  the  most  difficult  part  of  the  sea, 
there  was  a  talk  of  stopping.  The  Captain  and 
ourselves  remonstrated,  but  the  pilot  said  that  it 
was  more  than  his  head  was  worth  to  go  on,  and 


if  the  Captain  chose  to  do  it,  it  must  be  on  his  own 
responsibility.  This  shut  us  up;  and  so  at  3.40 
we  cast  anchor  again  in  a  sort  of  bay  a  little 
above  Has  Sybille.  The  Ashrafi  Lighthouse  on  the 
Egyptian  side  is  distinctly  visible.  What  a  blessing 
these  lighthouses  are  along  the  coast ! 

Soon  after  we  had  anchored,  a  native  came  along- 
side in  a  small  canoe,  which  he  paddled,  bringing 
for  sale  some  large  oysters,  of  the  sort  that  the 
Americans  say  it  requires  three  men  to  swallow 
one  at  a  mouthful  These  are  real  whoppers  I 
eight  or  ten  inches  long.1  The  Captain  bought  four 
for  half  a  franc  as  food  for  the  crew ;  they  make 
an  excellent  dish  cooked  with  rice.  He  says  that 
no  frvtti  di  mare  (shellfish)  is  poisonous :  for 
sailors  find  everything  to  be  "  very  good  eating." 
We  passed  our  time  reading,  writing,  and  drawing 
— the  latter  being  my  companions  work,  and  he 
has  already  "  painted  "  me  three  times  !  It  was  a 
delightful  mild  evening,  with  little  wind,  and  that 
from  the  south,  which  is  my  only  consolation  for 
being  so  long  on  the  voyage,  as  I  trust  it  will  con- 

1  These  big  oysters,  Mr.  Milne  tells  me,  are  Tridacua  gigantea 
(the  largest  bivalve),  and  have  been  seen  one  yard  and  a  half  long. 
In  the  Church  of  St.  Sulpice,  at  Paris,  the  shells  are  used  as  fonts. 
There  are  some  magnificent  specimens  in  the  garden  of  the  hotel  at 
South  Kensington  Museum. 


tinue  in  the  Gulf  of  Akaba.  At  night  we  had  the 
moon,  not  very  large  as  yet,  but  she  will  get  bigger 
every  night.  It  was  so  mild  that  we  had  our 
dinner  on  deck  by  lamplight,  and  we  sat  reading 
till  we  went  to  bed.  Milne  is  translating  Dr.  Loth's 
account  of  the  Harras  of  Arabia,  and  I  was  reading 
Macaulay's  Biographical  Essays. 

January  21. — Left  our  anchorage  at  6  A.M.  The 
pilot  would  not  start  till  it  was  light,  and  he  is  not 
to  be  blamed,  for  the  shoals  and  reefs  about  here 
are  tremendous  :  we  had  to  stand  well  out,  to 
keep  clear  of  them.  Before  starting,  the  Captain 
bought  nineteen  more  oysters  for  one  franc  of  the 
same  man,  who  came  off  to  us  at  daybreak.  Thus 
the  crew  will  not  starve.  Captain  Sciassar  is  an 
active,  good-natured  fellow,  always  doing  some- 
thing, helping  in  cooking  occasionally,  &c;  but 
unfortunately  he  keeps  his  ship  in  a  filthy  state. 
It  is  true  the  boy  sweeps  the  deck,  but  as  to  put- 
ting water  on  it,  there  is  no  more  than  they  put  to 
their  faces  1  It  is  rather  a  "  piggish  "  life  we  are 
leading.  The  pilot  is  mostly  squatted  down  at  the 
bow  of  the  ship ;  but  when  the  sail  is  set,  he  climbs 
up  and  stands  on  the  yard  looking  earnestly  for- 
ward, and  giving  his  commands  to  the  steersman, 
either  with  his  hands,  or  by  the  words  "  hurra  " — 


"  outwards,"  "  djowa  " — "  inwards."  He  needs 
no  charts,  no  observations,  scarcely  any  bearings, 
but  looks  into  the  sea ! 

The  wind  is  now  south-east  Oh,  if  it  would 
only  continue  so  in  the  Gulf  of  Akaba !  This 
morning  I  have  been  acting  quite  like  a  deus  ex 
machind.  One  of  the  sailors  having  lost  the  key  of 
his  watch,  I  recollected  that  I  had  an  old  one  in  my 
writing-desk,  which  was  found  exactly  to  fit ;  so  I 
gave  it  to  him.  By  and  by  the  Captain  dropped 
his  tobacco-box  overboard.  The  ship  was  stopped, 
and  the  boat  begun  to  be  lowered ;  but  it  was  seen 
to  be  of  no  use,  so  we  went  on.  The  poor  man  was 
au  disespoir.  I  found  a  remedy  for  this  misfor- 
tune likewise.  At  Cairo,  seeing  all  the  world 
smoking  cigarettes  which  they  made  for  them- 
selves, I  thought  I  would  do  the  same.  So  I  took 
lessons  of  Mr.  Rogers,  and  also  at  the  tobacconist's, 
and  then  ventured  to  buy  a  pouch  of  tobacco  with 
some  cigarette  papers ;  but  I  soon  found  "  the 
game  not  worth  the  candle,"  and  therefore  pur- 
chased some  ready-made  cigarettes  for  the  journey. 
The  pouch,  which  I  had  laid  aside,  now  came  iu 
seasonably  as  a  present  to  the  Captain.  I  need 
not  say  that  he  was  delighted.  • 

We  are  now  nearing  Ras  Mohammed,  which  lies 

HAS  MOHAMMED.  3 1 7 

very  low.  I  had  fancied  it  must  be  very  high ! 
The  Captain  observed  the  sun  to-day,  and  at  twelve 
o'-clock  reported  it  to  me,  and  on  my  bowing,  he 
opened  the  steam-whistle,  and  so  struck  eight 
bells  I  At  1.30  we  passed  something  which  the 
Captain  says  is  the  wreck  of  a  vessel  which  sank 
there  eight  or  ten  years  ago. 

The  granite  now  ceases,  and  low  sandy  (?)  cliffs 
begin.  We  are  taking  stock  of  our  coal,  and  find 
that  out  of  twenty  tons  we  have  consumed  seven, 
leaving  only  thirteen  tons  for  the  rest  of  the  voy- 
age. We  have  steamed  thirty-eight  hours  in  four 
days.  In  the  afternoon  we  saw  an  Arab  camp  on 
the  sandy  coast,  too  far  off  to  be  very  distinguish- 
able. It  is  very  slow  work  going  against  the  wind. 
When  we  came  to  rounding  Ras  Mohammed,  we 
hoisted  the  foresails,  which  helped  us  a  little. 

At  4.20  p.m.  we  passed  very  near  under  the  cape, 
or  bluff,  nearly  one  hundred  feet  high,  of  calcareous 
sandstone  (?),  much  undermined  by  the  sea.  There 
are  two  points,  the  westerly  one  being  the  longer 
and  lower.  The  English  surveyors  have  placed  a 
stone  on  the  summit  of  the  easterly  one  to  designate 
the  true  cape.  We  are  now  out  of  the  Gulf  of  Suez ; 
but  not  in  that  of  Akaba ;  to  do  which  we  must  first 
enter  the  Straits  of  Tir&n.     After  we  had  rounded 


the  cape  we  found  the  wind  not  so  favourable  as 
we  had  anticipated  :  still  the  sails  helped  us  a  bit, 
and  we  ran  on  till  6.40,  when  we  cast  anchor  in 
Sherm  el  Monjeh.1  This  is  a  small  basin  quite  land- 
locked; and  as  we  entered  it,  we  were  met  by 
shoals  of  fishes,  pursued,  the  sailors  said,  by  a  large 
fish  which  they  called  cerne:  they  were  in  such 
numbers  and  made  such  a  noise  that  it  sounded 
exactly  like  a  heavy  shower  of  rain :  I  jumped  up 
in  surprise  to  see  what  it  could  be,  as  there  was  no 
rain  falling. 

After  dinner  I  sat  on  deck  chatting  with  the 
captain  and  crew,  to  whom  I  related  the  history  of 
the  navigation  of  the  Gulf  of  Akaba  by  the  fleets  of 
King  Solomon,  and  Hiram,  King  of  Tyre,  of  whose 
people,  the  Phoenicians  (the  Maltese),  are  the  de- 
scendants. Of  this  there  is  no  doubt  Their  lan- 
guage, which  is  not  Arabian,  but  Carthaginian, 
plainly  shows  this.  I  told  them  what  a  feather  it 
would  be  in  their  cap  to  have  performed  this  voy- 
age with  me !  (I  am  writing  on  deck,  and  my  paper 
blows  about  so,  that  my  writing  is  scarcely  legible.) 
They  all  seemed  very  delighted  with  what  I  told 

January  22. — Milne  went  on  shore  to  collect 

1  See  Biippell's  description  of  Shurm,  in  his  "  Reise  in  Aby8sinien,,, 
Bel.  I.,  p.  142. 



specimens.  (This  delayed  us  a  bit,  and  we  did  not 
start  till  7.15  a.m.)  They  seem  to  be  of  sand,  like 
Has  Mohammed.  There  do  not  appear  any  signs  of 
volcanoes,  but  Milne  did  not  go  inland.  Beyond 
the  sand  is  granite.  The  steam  being  already  up, 
we  started  the  instant  he  came  on  board. 

The  Sherm  in  which  we  passed  the  night  is  a 
lovely  little  basin,  protected  from  every  wind,  ex- 
cept towards  the  south-east.  The  hills  on  the  east 
side  of  the  harbour  are  formed  of  sand  capped  with 
two  beds  of  yellowish  limestone.  The  sand  is  yel- 
lowish red,  and  in  places  is  formed  of  quartz  grains 
as  large  as  peas,  being  quite  a  grit.  It  contains 
one  band  of  rounded  and  angular  stones  (flint, 
quartz,  granite,  &c),  about  eight  inches  wide.  These 
sand  beds  dip  170  to  the  south.  Masses  of  the 
rock  having  fallen  from  above,  protect  them  from 
the  action  of  wind  and  weather.  The  beds  above 
are  horizontal,  soft,  full  of  irregular  cavities,  and, 
in  fact,  rather  a  mass  of  shells  and  coral  than  a  true 
limestone :  just  as  the  beds  below  are  too  soft  to 
be  a  sandstone.  The  upper  bed  of  limestone  is  of  a 
darker  grey  colour  than  the  lower  one,  which  is 

We  now  crossed  the  entrance  of  the  Gulf  of 

1  See  Appendix  A. 


Akaba,  going  to  the  north  of  Tir&n  Island.  I  wanted 
the  Captain  to  keep  on  the  outside,  as  the  sea  is 
quite  free  from  rocks,  and  he  felt  inclined  to  do  so  ; 
but  the  pilot  humbugged  him,  pretending  that 
Mugna  was  the  place  I  wished  to  go  to,  instead  of 

It  is  a  fine  morning,  but  the  wind  is  getting  up 
from  the  north.  After  breakfast  we  examined  the 
specimens  collected  this  morning  by  Milne,  and  he 
wrote  his  notes  thereon,  also  referring  to  what 
Burckhardfc  says  about  volcanoes,  of  which  we  find 
no  traces.  The  coast  to  our  left  continued  sandy, 
with  granite  rising  immediately  above  it  The 
wind  was  now  dead  ahead,  and  we  shipped  a  good 
deal  of  water.  As  we  proceeded,  the  sandy  coast 
seemed  to  die  out,  and  the  granite  came  down  to  the 
sea.  The  idea  that  this  barren,  rocky  country  is 
the  scene  of  the  Wanderings  of  the  Israelites  is 
perfectly  preposterous-  At  1 1  a.m.  we  saw  a  few 
date-palms  on  the  beach  :  but  that  is  all  the  vege- 

As  it  was  now  time  for  something  certain  to  be 
decided  about  our  course,  there  was  a  Tcaldm  (talk) 
with  the  pilot.  He  wanted  to  persuade  me  that 
Mugna,  within  the  gulf,  was  where  I  wanted  to  go. 
I  knew  what  I  wanted  better  than  he  did,  and 

T1RA  N  ISLAND.  3  2 1 

showed  the  place  to  the  Captain  on  the  chart  and 
in  the  "  Sailing  Directions,"  and,  as  he  is  under  my 
orders,  he  had  no  alternative  but  to  submit.  He 
fears  it  will  take  time,  and  that  he  shall  run  out  of 
coal,  &c. ;  but  that  is  not  my  affair.  I  want  to  go 
to  the  Encampment  by  the  sea  of  the  Israelites,  as 
I  have  supposed  Aiytinah  to  be,  and  to  make  a 
drawing  of  it.  This  will  serve  to  illustrate  my 
book,  and,  besides,  will  perhaps  save  me  from  illus- 
trating  (and  going  to)  Marah  (Shorafk),  and  Elim 
(Moghayr  Shayb),  of  which  there  are  accurate  de- 
scriptions by  Burckhardt  and  Ruppell. 

We  then  shifted  our  course  to  the  eastward,  set 
sail,  and  crossed  behind  Tir&n.  The  wind  was 
pretty  strong,  and  Milne  could  not  stand  it,  but 
went  below  and  was  very  sick.  I  enjoyed  it  very 
much.  By  noon  we  were  under  the  land  on  the 
east  coast  of  the  gulf,  when  it  became  quite  still 
and  delightful.  The  Captain  says  they  have  in  the 
Museum  at  Malta  a  Carthagenian  ship  just  like 
those  that  navigate  the  Gulf  of  Suez  at  the  present 
day.  In  consequence  of  the  stupid  pilot's  keeping 
within  Tir&n  instead  of  without,  he  now  says  it  is 
doubtful  whether  we  shall  reach  Aiytinah  to-night, 
that  is,  by  sunset ;  for  he  will  not  navigate  by  night. 
As  soon  as  we  get  into  an  open  channel,  Captain 


Sciassar  says  he  will  take  the  navigation  into  bis 
own  hands,  and  only  employ  the  pilot  when  he 
nears  the  shore.  I  only  wish  he  had  done  so  this 
morning  :  it"  would  have  saved  us  at  least  ten  miles, 
and  we  are  only  going  some  ./foe  miles  an  hour! 
The  delay  does  not,  in  truth,  very  much  signify,  as 
I  must  remain  at  Akaba  till  the  night  preceding  the 
2 1 st  day  of  the  moon;  on  which  day,  Saturday, 
February  7th,  in  the  morning,  I  hope  to  start  on 
my  return  to  Suez.  All  my  arrangements  will  have 
been  previously  made,  so  that  there  may  not  be  a 
moment's  delay  after  I  have  observed  the  state  of 
the  tide  and  of  the  moon  on  the  day  corresponding 
to  the  Passage  of  the  Israelites  through  the  Red  Sea. 
I  could  not  leave  the  spot  without  that.  It  was  a 
dodge  of  the  pilot,  Ramadhan,  to  do  as  he  did.  Had 
I  not  been  on  the  alert,  he  would  have  run  me  into 
Mugna  (Magna),  and  have  said  he  understood  that 
was  what  I  meant.  As  it  is,  he  has  subjected  us  to 
the  rough  passage  in  the  morning  along  the  coast  of 
the  Peninsula,  and  across  to  Tir&n,  besides  making 
us  take  a  course  probably  double  of  what, it  would 
have  been  had  we  kept  out  at  sea. 

The  result  is,  that  we  do  not  reach  Aiyunah  to- 
night, but  anchor  on  a  desert  island  called  Barak  an, 
some  twelve  miles  off.     The  Arabian  coast,  along 


which  we  skirted  after  crossing  the  straits,  is  low ; 
but  ahead  of  us  are .  some  immense  mountains, 
marked  on  the  chart  as  being  6000  and  7000  feet 
high ;  like  those  of  Abyssinia.1 

It  is  a  hot  day  with  scarcely  a  breath  of  wind, 
and  the  sea  so  clear  that  we  can  see  the  coral  reefs  at 
the  bottom ;  ten  fathoms  down,  they  tell  me.  Rama- 
dahan  is  so  plaguy  careful  that  he  takes  us  first 
one  way  and  then  another.  Poor  Abu  Nabut  does 
not  like  the  sea  any  more  than  Milne;  He  has  no 
idea  where  we  are  going,  and  is  quite  shut  up.  He 
says,  very  naturally,  that  he  likes  best  to  be  "at 
sea  "  on  the  Nile.  The  Captain  is  in  a  stew  about 
coal  He  says  we  may  have  enough  to  take  us  to 
Akaba;  but  how  he  is  to  get  back  he  does  not 
know,  except  by  the  help  of  the  north  wind.  At 
Tor  he  hopes  to  find  some  coal,  and  he  is  looking 
out  in  the  "  Code  "  for  the  signal,  "  Want  coal  imme- 
diately," in  case  he  should  meet  a  steamer  on  his 
way.  At  Akaba  he  may,  perhaps,  be  able  to  get 
some ;  but  I  doubt  it.  At  all  events,  he  talks  of 
remaining  there  two  days,  which  will  enable  me  to 
send  you  letters,  and,  if  tlie  news  is  good,  a  tele- 
gram.    I  pray  God  it  may  be  so. 

1  See  Burckhaidt's  "  Travels  in  Arabia  "  (London :  Colburn,  1829), 
P-  34o. 


At  5.40  p.m.  we  anchored  behind  the  island  of 
Barakan ;  a  low,  barren,  sandy  rock,  of  the  same 
sort  as  Ras  Mohammed.  The  evening  was  still, 
with  a  bright  moon ;  and  a  dew  fell  which  caused 
the  Captain  to  put  the  tent  up  :  under  it  he  and 
the  crew  held  an  animated  conversation,  in  which  I 
took  no  part,  being  sufficiently  occupied  with  my 
thoughts.  But  I  could  not  help  noticing  the 
strange  mongrel  language  they  spoke,  half  Punic 
and  half  Italian,  and  I  figured  to  myself  how  the 
English  language  came  to  be  formed  by  the  two 
races  Saxon  and  French  speaking  together.  Some- 
times the  Italian  predominated,  and  then  the  Punic. 

January  23. — During  the  night  the  wind  veered 
to  the  east,  bringing  what  might  have  been  a 
severe  storm.  Fortunately  the  wind  was  not 
strong ;  but  there  was  thunder  and  lightning,  and 
at  five  o'clock  in  the  morning  there  was  a  large 
trdmba  marina — waterspout.  I  was  up  before 
seven,  when  the  vessel  was  only  then  about  to  start, 
as  the  pilot  could  not  see  his  way  earlier.  It  was 
very  overcast  and  threatened  rain :  in  fact,  it  was 
raining  on  shore.  The  sky  was  dreadfully  lower- 
ing ;  indeed,  I  think  I  never  saw  heavier  masses  of 
black  clouds,  not  even  in  Abyssinia ;  and  yet  as  the 
morning  went  on  one  could  see  them  gradually 

AIN&NAH.  325 

taken  up  by  the  sun.  Still,  on  shore  it  must  have 
rained  heavily,  and  soon  after  nine  o'clock  we  had 
a  sprinkle  even  on  board,  but  very,  very  slight. 
Fancy  this  in  the  Red  Sea  I 

We  were  obliged  to  go  slowly  on  account  of  the 
reefs.  The  pilot  was  up  the  mast  looking  out,  and 
the  Captain  below  giving  the  word  to  the  steersman. 
The  navigation  here  is  rendered  most  dangerous  in 
consequence  of  these  reefs,  of  which  the  sea  is  full. 
At  8.45  the  Captain  burst  out  in  an  exclamation 
of  admiration  of  the  "devil"  of  a  pilot,  who  had 
carried  us  clear  through  a  passage  between  two  of 
them,  where  there  was  scarcely  room  to  pass !  We 
were,  however,  not  yet  clear ;  but  continued  along 
over  the  reefs,  which  were  distinctly  visible,  at  a 
depth  perhaps  of  three  fathoms.  At  length,  at 
9.15  a.m.,  we  got  into  deep  water,  fifteen  or 
twenty  fathoms. 

Milne  employed  himself  in  making  a  sketch  of  the 
black  mountains  above  the  place  we  are  steering  to, 
namely,  Aiyiinah,  but  it  is  not  very  good.  The 
weather  now  cleared  up,  and  we  approached  the 
shores,  on  which  we  saw,  to  our  surprise,  a  number 
of  houses ;  Captain  Sciassar  counted  twenty-four 
on  the  beach,  and  many  more  further  up.  We 
passed  them  on   the   left,  and   continued  to   the 


harbour,  where  we  saw  other  houses,  and  what 
appeared  to  be  a  large  heap  of  charcoal ;  but  not 
a  human  being  was  visible. 

At  10.15  a.m.  we  anchored  about  a  furlong  from 
the  beach,  in  deep  water.  We  had  previously  shown 
the  Turkish  flag,  and  as  we  were  in  strange  ports, 
the  Captain  thought  it  better  to  hoist  the  same 
also  at  the  fore,  to  show  that  we  had  some  one  in 
authwity  on  board  :  the  British  flag  would  do  no 
good  here.  As  soon  as  we  had  anchored,  the  Cap- 
tain  went  on  shore  with  one  man,  whom  the  rower 
left,  and  then  returned  for  me.  I  landed  at  10.45, 
being  carried  from  the  boat  to  the  shore,  a  few 
yards  only,  by  the  men.  As  they  dropped  me  on 
dry  land,  one  of  them  exclaimed,  "Benedetto,  tirra ! " 
and  I  repeated  the  words  mentally.  To  me  it  is 
indeed  a  blessed  spot,  because  this  is  the  first  of  the 
(supposed)  stations  of  the  Israelites1  visited  by  me," 
and  you  will  see  how  admirably  it  answers,  in  its 
present  condition,  to  the  "  Encampment  of  the 
Israelites,"  3000  years  and  more  ago. 

At  the  spot  where  we  landed  were  some  eight  or 
ten  "  houses,"  or,  as  they  now  turned  out  to  be, 
huts  made  of  date-palm  leaves  and  matting.  These 
are  now  all  deserted,  but  show  signs  of  having 

1  Numb,  xxxiii.  10. 


recently  been  occupied.  In  one  of  tbem  was  an 
Arab  flour-mill,  a  water-jar  from  Upper  Egypt,  a 
couple  of  wooden  cases,  one  bearing  the  mark 
"Burbidge,  Burbidge,  &  Co.,  export  druggists, 
Coleman  Street,  London ; "  outside  was  a  large 
heap  of  charcoal,  with  two  sacks  full  and  one 
empty  sack,  and  in  a  bush  lay  some  woman's  tresses 
of  plaited  hair.  It  was  manifest  that  we  had  here 
the  remains  of  the  pilgrim  caravan  which  passed 
by  here  on  the  way  to  Mecca  some  three  weeks 
ago ;  and  these  things,  including  the  huts,  are  left 
for  them  on  their  return.  All  over  the  plain,  and 
up  the  valley,  are  numerous  other  huts,  perhaps 
some  hundred  or  more  in  all. 

Milne  made  a  drawing  of  the  place  from  the  ship, 
and  then  came  on  shore  after  me,  and  went  a  short 
distance  inland,  taking  Hashim  with  him.  It  was 
high  water  here  at  11. 15  a.m.,  with  very  little  rise 
and  fall.  And  now  occurred  what  proved  these 
Maltese  to  be  not  one  whit  better  than  their  Car- 
thagenian  ancestors.  If  I  recollect  rightly,  Hero- 
dotus relates  that  Hanno  did  something  of  the  same 
kind  when  he  circumnavigated  Africa.  Being  short 
of  coal,  as  I  have  related,  the  Captain  took  posses- 
sion of  the  two  sacks  of  charcoal  as  budna  pHsa. 
On  one  of  them  were  some  Arabic  characters,  which 


he  read  "  Emmanuele  Chiassaro,"  clearly  showing 
they  were  intended /or  him.  This  puts  me  in  mind 
of  the  "  reading "  of  the  Hieroglyphics  by  the 
Egyptologists.  There  being  a  quantity  of  fire- 
wood in  one  of  the  huts,  he  took  a  boatload  of 
this  too ;  altogether  providing  himself  with  enough 
fuel  for  one  day's  steam.  The  worst  of  it  is,  ex- 
ample is  catching ;  and  so  we  saw  Master  Hashim 
filling  the  empty  sack  with  charcoal  from  the  heap, 
which  he  tied  up  with  a  bit  of  cord  left  by  the 
pilgrims  "  mighty  convenient/'  and  then  carried  it 
off  on  his  back  to  the  boat. 

Unfortunately  there  was  no  water  to  be  had 
except  at  a  considerable  distance  from  the  shore, 
and  no  natives  to  help  us  with  it  on  board ;  but  we 
hope  to  find  water  to-morrow,  and  so  the  men  took 
the  water-jar  on  board  with  them,  in  order  to  have 
it  handy  they  said  !  Altogether  it  wras  a  regular  case 
of  piracy.  I  wonder  what  the  pilgrims  will  say  when 
they  come  back  from  Mecca.  To  show  that  he  had 
a  conscience,  Captain  Sciassar  took  three  five-franc 
pieces  out  of  his  pocket,  and  bid  them  in  the  heap 
of  charcoal ;  but  I  am  afraid  there  was  some  jug- 
glery in  it,  and  that  if  any  one  went  to  look  there 
for  the  money  he  would  never  find  it. 

I  returned  on  board  at  1 1.30,  and  as  the  Captain 


did  not  wish  to  stay,  we  whistled  for  Milne,  who 
came  on  board  by  noon.  He  had  not  been  much 
more  than  half  a  mile  inland,  but  had  seen  the 
aqueduct  or  canal,  made  for  bringing  water  to  the 
beach.  It  is  built  of  brick,  about  two  feet  wide 
and  some  eight  inches  deep,  along  the  surface  of 
the  ground,  like  our  Grand  Canal  at  Mauritius. 
Milne  has  made  three  pretty  drawings  of  the  place, 
besides  that  of  the  mountains  which  .he  made  in 
the  morning. 

In  the  €i  Sailing  Directions  of  the  Red  Sea,"  page 
1 36,  AiNtfNAH  is  described  thus  — "  This  harbour, 
although  its  approach  is  formidable  from  the  number 
of  outlying  reefs,  may,  with  the  assistance  of  a  good 
pilot,  be  entered  with  facility  and  safety.  Towards  the 
interior,  at  the  distance  of  a  mile  and  a  half  from 
the  beach,  between  two  barren  and  rocky  hills,  is 
the  valley  of  Ainiinah,  celebrated  among  the  Be- 
duins  for  the  purity  and  abundance  of  its  water. 
About  two  miles  from  the  beach,  a  long  line  of  cliffs 
rises  from  the  plain,  and  forms  the  outer  edge  of  an 
extensive  tract  of  table-land.  The  appearance  of 
the  luxuriant  though  uncultivated  tract  contrasts 
strangely  with  the  wild  sterility  of  the  neighbour- 
ing scenery.  On  both  sides  of  the  valley  there  are 
some  ruins,  which  are  said  to  be  the  remains  of  a 


Nazarene  or  Christian  town,  and  from  it,  leading 
to  the  beach,  may  be  seen  an  aqueduct  by  which 
water  was  formerly  conveyed  to  a  reservoir  near 
the  beach.  There  are  still  some  remains  of  this 

You  see  the  name  is  Ainiinah.  Copying  Burckhardt 
and  Rttppell,  I  have  written  Aiyunah,  Ayoun,  and 
Aiune,  which  is  wrong.  I  fancy  Captain  Richard 
Burton  was.  here  too  when  he  went  the  Hadj.1  To 
me  this  is  a  most  interesting  and  important  place,  and 
I  should  have  liked  to  remain  here  much  longer ;  but 
I  have  done  what  I  wanted,  and  now  do  not  care  to 
detain  the  vessel  a  single  moment ;  indeed,  my  only 
wish  now  is  to  arrive  at  Akaba.  As  soon  as  Mr. 
Milne  was  on  board  the  anchor  was  weighed,  and 
we  were  off  by  12.15  P-M-  At  luncheon  Hashim 
went  to  the  ship's  tank  for  some  water,  but  found 
none  :  fortunately,  however,  Abu  Nabut  had  some 
in  a  barrel,  intended  for  the  desert.  If  I  had  known 
what  I  now  know,  I  would  have  insisted  on  stopping 
a  couple  of  hours  more  at  Ainiinah,  to  look  about 
the  place  whilst  the  sailors  fetched  water;  but  it 
is  too  late  to  complain  now.2 

1  He  does  not  appear  to  make  any  mention  of  Ainiinah,  or  Maghara 
Sho'eib,  in  bis  "  Mecca."    He  left  them  N.E.  of  his  course. 

2  Captain  Burton  will  probably  give  some  interesting  particulars 
of  Ainunah  in  bis  forthcoming  work — see  page  69. 


We  now  went  westward  along  the  coast,  a  fresh 
wind  blowing  W.S.W. — you  see  how  it  changes — 
which  makes  the  sea  a  little  rough,  and  difficult  for 
me  to  write.  We  kept  at  a  distance  from  the  coast, 
and  at  2.45  p.m.  passed  three  small  native  craft 
close  inshore.  Soon  after  this  we  passed  within  a 
few  fathoms  of  a  rock  just  under  water.  Kamad- 
han  luckily  has  sharp  eyes!  Had  we  struck  it, 
going  at  the  rate  we  did,  we  should  assuredly  have 
gone  to  the  bottom.  The  navigation  being  very 
difficult,  and  it  not  being  possible  to  find  an  anchor- 
age later  on,  we  cast  anchor  at  3  p.m.  in  shallow 
water  over  a  coral  reef,  and  behind  a  shoal  now 
above  water.  The  position  is  in  about  2  8°  N. 
and  34. 50'  E. — not  at  all  a  pleasant  place  to  stop ; 
but  they  say  it  is  quite  safe.  As  we  were  to  come 
such  a  very  little  way,  why  might  we  not  just  as 
well  have  remained  two  hours  longer  at  Ainiinah. 
Confound  that  Ramadhan  1  The  Captain  aud  crew 
are  busy  fishing,  and  I  am  writing ;  but  you  see  what 
a  bad  place  it  is  for  it,  the  wind  almost  blows  my 
paper  away. 

I  find  that  we  are  only  in  350  instead  of  340 
50'  K,  so  that  we  are  ten  miles  short  of  what  I 
imagined.  We  shall  never  get  to  Akaba  at  this 
rate ;  and  the  camels  are  there  waiting  for  me.    It 


is  dreadfully  unfortunate :  and  yet  I  ought  not  to 
complain.  All  will  be  right,  if  I  can  only  get  a 
start.  The  wind  got  up  so  much  that  we  were 
obliged  to  let  go  a  second  anchor ;  that  is  to  say,  it 
was  deemed  prudent  to  do  so.  Milne  is  a  regular 
Job's  comforter.  He  compares  our  position  to  an- 
choring in  the  middle  of  the  Atlantic.  I  asked  him 
if  he  ever  did  so  ?  when  he  began  relating  some 
of  his  experiences,  and  of  their  having  lost  three 
persons  by  sickness  out  of  nine  hundred  in  an  emi- 
grant vessel,  and  buried  them  without  most  of  the 
other  passengers  knowiug  it.  And  then  he  went  on 
speculating  on  what  would  become  of  us  if  we  parted 
from  our  anchor,  saying  (as  is  quite  true)  that  the 
strength  of  a  cable  is  dependent  on  that  of  every 
single  link  being  sufficient  to  nullify  the  strength  of 
all  the  rest.  Confound  the  fellow  !  he  makes  one 
feel  quite  nervous. 

The  "tent"  being  set  up  for  the  night*  the  Captain 
and  crew  assembled  round  the  lantern,  and  began 
telling  stories.  As  I  was  in  the  circle,  the  Captain 
suggested  that  he  should  tell  his  story  in  Italian,  to 
which  Giosd,  the  boy,  replied,  that  then  he  would 
not  understand  it.  This  was,  of  course,  sufficient 
reason  for  me  to  beg  that  I  might  not  be  taken  into 
account,  and  so  the  Captain  and  the  cook  spun  a 

HAS  FARTAK.  333 

long  yam,  of  the  purport  of  which  I  can  form  no 
idea.  But  I  noticed  the  constant  repetition  of 
familiar  Italian  expressions,  such  as  "  in  somma," 
which  I  take  to  mean  much  the  same  as  our  "  and 
so."  Master  Giosd  is  the  pet  of  the  ship's  com- 
pany :  he  is  a  smart,  active  boy  of  eleven,  whose 
first  voyage  this  is.  He  knows  only  Maltese,  and 
is  very  much  afraid  his  father  and  brother,  the  one 
speaking  English  and  the  other  Italian,  will  forget 
their  Maltese,  and  then,  he  says,  how  will  they  be 
able  to  speak  to  him  ?  His  brother  Mariano  is 
only  twenty-one,  and  he  is  the  engineer  1 

January  24. — During  the  night  it  blew  great 
guns — "fulmine  di  v6nto,"  to  use  the  Captain's  ex- 
pression. After  midnight  it  became  calmer,  and 
on  my  going  upon  deck  to  look  about  me,  I  found 
it  a  beautiful  starlight  night :  the  moon  had  already 
set.  We  started  at  6.45  a.m.  Although  I  was  not 
exactly  frightened  by  what  was  said  about  the  ugli- 
ness of  our  position  last  night,  I  thought  it  quite  as 
well  to  be  prepared  for  anything  that  might  happen, 
and  therefore  I  did  not  undress,  only  taking  off 
my  coat  and  undoing  my  necktie.  This  morning 
there  was  no  washing  for  want  of  water,  so  that  we 
are  getting  more  and  more  "piggish,"  and,  I  fear, 
shall  continue  so  till  we  get  to  Akaba.    In  case  of 


need,  the  engine  can  make  some  ten  gallons  of  con- 
densed water  per  diem.  The  wind  was  now  from 
the  north,  which  not  being  altogether  unfavourable, 
we  hoisted  sail,  and  went  on  pretty  well.  About 
breakfast  time  a  little  rain  fell :  there  must  be  a 
good  deal  on  the  mountains  .at  times. 

We  bore  straight  for  the  island  of  Tir&n  ;  and  at 
1 1. 20  a.m.  altered  our  course  so  as  to  enter  the 
Gulf  of  Akaba.  At  12.30  p.m.  we  rounded  Ras 
Fartak  and  entered  the  gulf.  The  wind  was  now 
nearly  ahead,  but  it  was  not  very  strong,  nor  was 
the  sea  very  rough :  still  it  was  rough  enough  to 
cause  us  to  ship  a  good  deal  of  water,  which  wetted 
Abu  Nabuts  tents,  bedding,  &c,  which  are  on 
deck.  These  had,  consequently,  to  be  shifted,  and 
spars  placed  under  them  to  keep  them  from  the  deck. 
The  Captain  is  very  obliging  and  handy,  taking 
part  in  all  the  operations  of  the  crew,  to  whom  he 
is,  as  it  were,  a  father. 

No  one,  I  believe,  has  been  in  these  waters  since 
the  time  of  the  surveying-ship  'Palinurus/  in 
1830-34.  The  Captain  tells  me  he  has  three  letters 
which  were  given  to  him  by  the  Admiral  before 
leaving  Suez,  for  delivery  at  Akaba.  He  does  not 
know  their  purport  Taking  this  fact  and  other 
matters  into  consideration,  I  have  thought  it  better 


that  we  should  not  hoist  British  colours  on  our 
arrival.  It  would  be  merely  a  piece  of  national 
vanity,  and  could  do  me  no  good ;  whereas  it  might 
possibly  do  me  harm,  especially  in  connection  with 
the  difference  between  England  and  Turkey  in  the 
south  of  Arabia.1  So  I  suggested  this  to  the  Cap- 
tain, who  quite  approved  of  my  determination.  By 
keeping  himself  strictly  to  his  character  of  an  Egyp- 
tian officer,  and  his  ship  one  of  the  Egyptian  Navy, 
he  pays  no  port  dues,  and  is  not  subject  to  quaran- 
tine regulations.  So  it  was  at  Tor,  and  so  it  will 
be  at  Akaba.  My  flag  is  therefore  put  aside,  to  be 
returned  to  Captain  Kellock  at  Suez. 

When  once  we  had  got  into  the  gulf  we  were  in 
deep  water,  and  a  course  of  about  N.N.E.  being  set, 
we  continued  along  the  Arabian  coast,  the  pilot 
leaving  his  post,  and  the  Captain  going  to  sleep. 
And  this  is  the  terrific  Gulf  of  Akaba  one  hears  so 
much  about !  But  we  must  not  cry  before  we  are 
out  of  the  wood :  we  have  yet  to  see  how  we  like  it. 
We  kept  along  close  to  the  shore  as  it  seemed ;  but 
everything  is  on  so  gigantic  a  scale,  and  there  being 
nothing  by  which  we  could  calculate  distances  or 
heights,  that  Milne  and  I  made  an  egregious 
mistake.      After  luncheon,  while   looking  at   the 

1  Should  Egypt  accept  the  sole  Protectorate  of  England,  or  be- 
come independent,  it  will  have  to  be  decided  to  which  country 
Akaba  rightly  belongs. 


mountains,  Milne  asked  me  what  I  thought  their 
height  was.  He  estimated  them,  he  said,  about 
300  or  400  feet.  I  said,  without  paying  much  atten- 
tion, that  I  thought  they  were  at  least  300  feet ; 
but  such  things  were  so  deceptive  that  we  had 
better  ask  the  Captain.  We  did  so  ;  and  he  made 
a  rough  observation  and  calculation,  from  which 
he  deduced  a  height  of  2700  feet — and  this  (he 
said)  at  the  very  least  I  Captain  Sciassar  told  us  we 
were  distant  three  quarters  of  a  mile  from  the  shore ; 
but  I  had  estimated  it  at  a  quarter  of  a  mile,  or  even 
less !  It  requires  great  practice  to  form  just  esti- 
mates in  such  matters,  where  everything  is  on  so 
immense  a  scale,  and  there  is  nothing — no  trees,  no 
houses,  no  people — with  which  to  compare  what 
we  see.  The  mountains  appear  to  be  composed  of 
sandstone,  and  behind  them  is  what  seems  to  be 
granite.  As  we  proceed  (about  4  o'clock),  the  granite 
comes  forward  to  the  coast,  but  it  is  doubtful  whether 
it  is  granite,  or  if  so,  it  must  be  much  disintegrated 
on  the  surface.  At  5  p.m.  we  saw  what  is  called  a 
wind  dog  over  the  mountains  ahead — a  short  rain- 
bow, which  is  a  sure  sign  of  wind. 

At  5.40  we  came  to  M&gna  (Mugna)  in  2 8°  23' 
30"  N.  lat,  where  the  pilot  said  we  should  get  water. 
In  lowering  the  anchor  no  stop  was  put  on  the 
cable,  and  so  it  ran  out !    A  nice  piece  of  lubberly 


seamanship.  This  caused  a  great  deal  of  confusion  : 
the  other  anchor  was  cast,  but  before  this  was  pro- 
perly secured  the  vessel  was  moved  backwards  and 
forwards  as  if  to  keep  her  near  the  spot  where  the 
other  was  lost.  This  place  is  a  vast  improvement 
on  Aintinah,  there  being  up  the  valley  a  perfect 
wood  of  date  trees,  and  a  number  of  huts  along  the 
shore.  There  appear  to  be  a  few  natives,  but  not 
at  all  in  proportion  to  the  number  of  dwellings  :  six 
men  soon  made  their  appearance  on  the  beach,  with 
whom  we  endeavoured  to  communicate  as  well  as 
the  wind  would  allow  us.  "  Hat  moiyeh !  Hat 
moiyeh  !  Hat  moiyeh  !  "  was  our  cry ;  we  are  with- 
out water,  and  dying  of  thirst.  Then  some  attempts 
were  made  to  tell  them  who  and  what  we  were ;  and 
Abu  Nabut  "  explained  "  that  the  Khedive's  Hakim 
(doctor)  was  on  board  I  On  my  remonstrating  with 
him  on  this,  he  answered  me,  as  Mikhail  did  when 
we  were  in  the  valley  of  the  Jordan,  that  it  was  his 
affair,  and  not  mine ;  at  which  I  laughed,  and  said 
that  as  I  had  already  passed  in  Syria  for  the  Hakim 
Bashi  of  the  Sultan,  it  was  but  a  little  thing  to  be 
the  Hakim  of  the  Khedive ! 

Meantime  the  boat  had  been  lowered  to  look  for 
the  anchor,  which  they  appear  to  have  found,  and 
which   is   to  be  fished  for  to-morrow  morning  by 


Ram  ad  ban,  who  is  a  good  diver,  when  the  sun 
is  up  sufficiently  high  for  him  to  see  the  bottom. 
The  boat  then  went  on  shore  and  brought  off  a 
Beduin,  a  youngish,  good-looking  man,  dressed  iu 
a  striped  abba,  who  by  "  lamp  light"  looked  very 
bright  and  picturesque  in  his  Arab  dress.  After 
the  usual  salutations  he  squatted  on  the  deck  in 
front  of  me  with  Abu  Nabut  before  him,  and  a  long 
conversation  ensued.  He  is  not  the  Sheikh,  but 
only  one  of  a  few  of  the  tribe  who  remain  here  to 
attend  to  the  fructification  of  the  dates,  which,  like 
the  aucubas,  have  male  and  female  trees,  and  the 
blossoms  have  to  be  set,  or  they  would  not  produce 
fruit.     The  rest  of  the  tribe  have  gone  inland. 

The  name  of  this  place,  he  tells  me,  is  Magna, 
and  also  Madian  (Midian)  1 1  You  may  well  imagine 
how  this  took  me  by  surprise.  In  the  Map  of  the 
"  Wanderings  of  the  Israelites,"  in  your  little  Bible,8 
there  is  a  "  Madian  "  marked  in  about  this  position ; 
but  when  you  drew  my  attention  to  it  sometime 
back,  I  only  fancied  it  to  be  one  of  the  "  traditional" 
identifications,  having  no  idea  that  there  was  any 
such  place  actually  so  called.    But  here  it  is  :  there 

1  See  Captain  Burton's  further  discoveries  in  1877,  referred  to  at 
page  69  of  this  work. 

2  Printed  at  the  University  Press,  Oxford,  and  published  by 
Gardner  &  Son.    London:  1847. 


is  no  mistake  about  it.  How  it  came  to  get  this 
name  I  do  not  know.  The  Beduin  repeatedly  said 
it  is  known  by  both  names,  but  the  pilot  says  he 
only  knows  it  by  that  of  Magna.  I  could  not  find 
out  from  the  Beduin  whence  the  name  of  "  Madian" 
is  derived :  but  I  have  set  Abu  Nabut  to  try  and 
find  this  out  from  him,  and  hope  to  ascertain. 
Meanwhile  I  have  a  theory  of  my  own.  Maghara 
Sho'eib  is  in  about  this  latitude,  and  only  half  a 
day's  journey  inland  from  hence.1      This  then,  and 

1  In  Burckhardt's  "Arabia"  (London,  Colburn,  1829),  a  map  is 
given  showing  the  Hadj  route  east  of  the  Gulf  of  Akaba.  Like 
Rtippell  and  Burton,  his  course  was  from  Suez  to  Tor,  Has  Moham- 
med, and  thence  to  Moilah.  In  his  map  (ii.  p.  392),  the  names  run 
from  N.  to  S.  thus  : — Akaba,  Thaher  el  Homar ;  Shorafa  [Marah] ; 
Moghayr  Shayb  [Maghara  Sho'eib,  or  Jethro's  Cave] ;  Ayoun  el 
Eassab,  and  Ealat  el  Moeyleh — the  latter  place  being  described  at 
p.  430  of  his  work.  Dr.  Beke  says  in  his  "  Sinai  a  Volcano,"  p.  37  : 
— "  The  road  which  I  consider  the  Israelites  to  have  taken  corre- 
sponds so  entirely  to  the  words  of  the  Scripture  narrative,  that,  when 
once  the  incubus  of  '  tradition '  shall  be  shaken  off,  I  cannot  bring 
myself  to  believe  there  will  remain  any  doubt  respecting  it.  This 
road  is  that,  namely,  taken  at  the  present  day  by  the  pilgrims  from 
Cairo  to  Mecca  after  passing  Akaba,  and  described  by  the  traveller 
Burckhardt,  who,  it  is  needless  to  explain,  entertained  not  the 
slightest  idea  of  its  being  that  of  the  Children  of  Israel  on  their  way 
from  Mitzraim  [to  the  '  Encampment  by  the  Red  Sea '  at  Midian]. 
The  coincidence,  too,  of  the  Hadj  stations  with  those  of  the  Israelites 
is  most  striking.  Thaher  el  Homar  and  Shorafa,  respectively  with 
bad  water  and  without  water,  may  be  taken  to  correspond  to  the 
three  days'  journey  without  water  to  Marah  with  bitter  water,  whilst 
the  description  of  Moghayr  Shayb,  with  ' many  wells  of  sweet  water, 
date  plantations,  and  trees  among  the  wells,'  is  almost  identical  with 
that  of  Elim,  with  its  *  twelve  fountains  of  water,  and  threescore 
and  ten  palm  trees.'  "    Numbers  xxxiii.  9,  10  j  Exod.  xv.  22,  23,  27. 


not  Aiutinah,  must  have  been  the  "  Encampment  by 
the  Red  Sea  of  the  Israelites"  of  Numbers  xxxiii.  10; 
and  in  the  names  "  Maghara  Sho'eib"  and  "  Madian" 
we  have  a  distorted  tradition  of  the  presence  of  the 
Israelites  here.  Of  course  the  tradition,  if  preserved, 
must  necessarily  have  become  distorted  ;  as  other- 
wise it  would  have  been  contradictory  to  the  re- 
ceived tradition  respecting  the  position  of  Mount 
Sinai.  I  much  prefer  this  spot,  with  its  wood  of 
date  palms,  for  the  encampment  by  the  sea;  but 
had  I  come  here  without  going  to  Ainiinah,  I  might 
have  been  accused  of  twisting  facts  to  suit  my  own 
views.  As  it  is,  I  have  visited  both  places,  and 
therefore,  cannot  have  any  personal  partiality  for 
the  one  rather  than  the  other :  and  this  "  Madian  " 
is  certainly  preferable  in  every  respect.  I  must  not 
forget  to  mention  that  Ainiinah  and  Ain  el  Kassab 
are  both  correct  names  for  the  other  place ;  at  least, 
so  they  tell  me  here. 

Water  was  soon  brought  us,  and  it  is  deliciously 
pure  and  sweet :  the  Arab  was  told  to  get  us  twenty 
skins  for  to-morrow  morning ;  also  a  sheep,  if  any 
are  to  be  had.  Besides  dates,  they  appear  to  have 
limes  here,  as  the  Captain  showed  me  a  small 
unripe  one.  The  man  now  asked  for  coffee  and 
tobacco,  of  the  latter  of  which  article  a  little  was 

&*>■•        i. 


ENCAMPMENT  BY  THE  RED  SEA.        341 

given  him,  and  some  coffee.  I  also  gave  him  an 
orange  in  exchange  for  his  lime.  After  talking  a  long 
time  with  us  and  then  with  the  pilot,  he  was  taken 
back  on  shore.  They  have  no  boats  here,  and  no 
animals,  the  camels  being  all  with  the  tribe  inland. 

The  'Erin'  is  safely  anchored  behind  a  head- 
land forming  the  side  of  a  sort  of  bay,  with  a  long 
reef  running  out  from  it,  which  shelters  us  well 
from  the  north.  There  is,  however,  no  anchorage 
for  large  vessels  here — these  would  have  to  stand 
off  whilst  their  boats  came  on  shore  for  water. 

January  25. — The  wind,  which  had  seemed  to 
fall  in  the  evening,  rose  during  the  night,  so  as  to 
blow  a  perfect  tempest :  the  crew  were  up  three 
times  during  the  night,  thinking  that  we  were 
driven  from  our  anchorage :  they  had  warped  us 
to  the  shore  by  way  of  greater  security ;  but  when 
I  came  this  morning  to  see  the  rope  by  which  we 
are  fastened,  I  was  thankful  that  we  had  not  to 
depend  on  that  at  all,  as  it  would  not  have  held  us 
a  moment.  I  passed  a  wretched  night,  and  this 
morning  am  altogether  unwell ;  my  head  aches,  so 
that  I  can  hardly  hold  it  up— a  very  unusual  occur- 
rence for  me ;  and  besides  this,  my  ankle  is  some- 
what swollen  and  painful.  I  do  not  know  whether 
I  hurt  it  going  on  shore  at  Ainiiuah,  or  whether  it 


At  four  hours  from  it  is  a  descent,  rendered  difficult 
by  the  deep  sand.  It  is  called  El  Araie,  or  Halat 
Ammar.  .  .  .  From  Halat  Am  mar  the  plain  is  no 
longer  sandy,  but  covered  with  a  white  earth  as 
far  as  Tebouk  The  vicinity  of  Dzat  Hadj  is 
covered  with  palm  trees ;  but  the  trees  being  male, 
they  bear  no  fruit,  and  remain  very  low.  The 
inhabitants  sell  the  wood  to  the  Hadj. 

"  One  day  from  Dzat  Hadj  is  Tebouk,  a  castle, 
with  a  village  of  Felahein.  .  .  .  There  is  a  copious 
source  of  water,  and  gardens  of  fig  and  pome- 
granate trees,  where  Badintshans  (egg  plant), 
onions,  and  other  vegetables,  are  also  cultivated. 
The  Fellahs  collect  in  the  neighbouring  desert  the 
herb  Beiteran  (a  species  of  milfoil).  .  .  .  The  castle 
is  also  surrounded  by  shrubs  with  long  spines  called 
Mekdab,  which  the  Fellahs  sell  to  the  Hadj  as  food 
for  the  camels,  and  likewise  two  other  herbs  called 
Nassi  and  Muassal. 

"  Akhdhar,  a  castle  with  a  Birket  of  rain-water, 
upon  a  small  ascent.  ...  El  Moadham,  a  very 
long  day's  march  (p.  660).  Dar  el  Hamra. 
Medayn  Szaleh.  ...  El  Olla  .  .  .  with  a  rivulet, 
and  agreeable  gardens  of  fruit-trees.  Biar  el 
Ghanam,  with  many  wells  of  fresh  water.  Byr 
Zemerrod,  a  large  well.     Byr  Dyedeyde. 


female  to  be  seen.  Abu  Nabut  had  been  making 
inquiries  for  me,  and  I  learned  through  him  that 
the  place  is  called  "  Magna  "  by  the  Arabs,  but  that 
its  old  official  name  is  "  Madian,"  by  which  it  is 
known  to  the  Mftzri  (Egyptians)  and  the  pilgrims 
to  Mecca.  I  walked  a  quarter  of  a  mile  and  more 
in  the  direction  of  the  watercourse,  and  up  it.  It 
is  some  fifty  yards  wide,  and  carries  water  into  the 
sea  during  the  rains.  I  came  to  some  beautiful 
palm  groves,  the  trees  being  countless,  and  they 
extend  some  considerable  distance  up  the  valley, 
which  comes  from  the  east,  that  is  to  say,  from  the 
neighbourhood  of  Maghara  Sho'eib,  if  not  actually 
from  it.  In  front  of  the  date-palm  groves  are  plan- 
tations of  barley  on  a  small  scale,  which  are  enclosed 
in  hedges  formed  by  the  leaves  of  the  date-palm ; 
the  entrance  to  which  is  closed  by  a  curious  door 
fastened  by  bolts  and  cords  in  a  most  mysterious 
manner.  Within  there  are  also  growing  lime, 
nebbuk,  and  fig-trees.  Here  I  met  Milne  returning 
laden  with  stones,  and  two  or  three  drawings  he 
had  made.1 

Abu  Nabut  tells  me  that  "  Maghara "  means  a 

1  Those  who  are  interested  in  the  geological  formations  of  Midian 
and  the  discoveries  of  gold  recently  made  by  Captain  Burton  there, 
I  would  refer  to  "Appendix  A.,M  which  specially  treats  of  the  quartz 
veins  in  the  granite,  &c. 


cave  artificially  made,  not  a  natural  cavern.  I 
do  not  think  this  signifies  much,  as  the  artificial 
dwelling  was  originally  a  natural  cave.  I  was  told 
by  one  of  the  Arabs,  "  who  had  seen  it  with  his 
eyes,"  that,  at  an  hour's  distance,  there  is  a  place 
marked  with  stones  where  tJie  Prophet  Moses 
prayed  to  God  !  Of  course  this  is  so  important  that 
it  must  be  seen.  It  is  unfortunately  too  far  off  for 
me  to  think  of  walking  there,  and  as  there  is  no 
other  means  of  getting  to  the  place,  I  was  compelled 
to  content  myself  to  accept  Milne's  offer  to  go  for 
me.  So  it  was  decided  that  we  should  return  on 
board  to  lunch  ;  and  then  that  he  should  go  again 
on  shore  with  Hashim  and  the  Beduin  as  a  guide. 
Then  we  went  off  to  the  ship,  taking  with  us  some 
shells  which  we  had  picked  up. 

We  lunched,  and  at  half-past  twelve  Milne  was 
off  to  the  "praying  place  of  Moses,"  as  it  is  called. 
He  is  very  good,  and  does  everything  I  ask  him  to 
do,  especially  as  he  sees  that  I  am  not  too  exigent. 
These  traditions  about  Moses  and  Jethro  are  very 
curious.  I  do  not  wish  to  attach  too  much  value  to 
them ;  but,  at  all  events,  they  are  worth  quite  as 
much  as  those  within  the  peninsula.  I  may  fairly 
set  the  one  set  of  traditions  to  neutralise  the  other : 
and  I  should  say  that  these  have  every  appearance 


of  being  older  than  those,  and  certainly  better  fulfil 
the  requirements  of  the  Scripture  History,  and 
adapt  themselves  better  to  it,  especially  when  taken 
in  connection  with  the  information  recorded  by 
travellers  like  Burckhardt,  Kuppell,  Palgrave,  and 
others.  Burckhardt,  in  giving  the  following  de- 
scription of  the  stations  on  the  Syrian  Hadj  route 
from  Ma'an,1  says  it  is  : — "  A  long  day's  journey  to 
the  Castle  of  Akaba  Esshamie,  or  the  Syrian  Akaba. 
.  .  .  Here  is  a  Birket  of  rain-water.  The  Hadj 
road,  as  far  as  Akaba,  is  a  complete  desert  on  both 
sides,  yet  not  incapable  (p.  659)  of  culture.  The 
mountain  chain  continues  at  about  ten  hours  to 
the  west  of  the  Hadj  route.  .  .  .  From  the  foot  of 
the  castle  walls  the  Hadj  descends  a  deep  chasm, 
and  it  takes  half  an  hour  to  reach  the  plain  below. 
.  .  .  The  mountain  consists  of  a  red  grey  sandstone. 
.  .  .  The  mountain  sinks  gradually,  and  is  lost  at  a 
great  distance  in  the  plain,  which  is  very  sandy. 

"  Medawara,  one  day's  journey,  a  castle  with  a 
Birket  of  rain-water. 

"  Dzat  Hadj,  a  castle  surrounded  by  a  great  num- 
ber of  wells,  which  are  easily  found  on  digging  two 
or  three  feet.    It  has  likewise  a  Birket  of  rain- water. 

1  See  Burckhardt,  Appendix  III., "  The  Hadj  Route  from  Damascus 
to  Mekka,"  p.  658. 


off,  and  wanted  to  be  paid  for  the  water  in  bread, 
rice,  coffee,  &c.  But  Abu  Nabut  said  this  might 
do  very  well  for  a  skin  or  two,  but  not  for  thirty- 
five — the  number  we  have  had.  So  the  Captain 
gave  them  five  francs,  and  Abu  Nabut  gave  them 
four  francs,  with  which  they  were  well  satisfied. 

Milne  came  back  to  the  beach  at  a  quarter-past 
three,  and  brought  with  him  a  pretty  and  valuable 
drawing  of  the  "  Mosque  of  Moses,"  as  the  people 
call  it,  with  the  plan  and  full  description.  The 
remains  are  of  white  alabaster,  a  small  piece  of 
which  I  have  kept  for  you.  The  spot  where  the 
ruins  are  is  only  a  mile  or  so  from  the  beach. 
Milne  walked  to  it  along  the  north  side  of  a 
palm  grove,  gradually  ascending  over  a  sand- 
stone slope,  in  many  places  worn  into  hummocks. 
He  tells  me  that,  at  about  half  a  mile  from  the 


sea,  he  came  to  a  small  stream  about  a  yard 
wide,  running  in  a  channel  worn  in  the  solid 
rock.  At  this  point  he  met  with  a  small  water- 
fall, or  slide-down  surface  of  rock,  in  all  fall- 
ing at  least  twelve  feet,  which  looked  very  pretty 
among  and  with  the  palm  trees  overhanging  it, 
and  winding  and  losing  itself  among  them.  The 
surface  has  been  quite  cleared,  so  that  one  walks 
over  the  bare  rock,  which  is  composed  of  sand- 


stone  and  conglomerate.  A  couple  of  hundred 
yards  past  this  the  rock  is  covered  with  sand, 
and  just  as  you  come  to  the  end  of  the  palm 
groves,  you  see  a  mound  half  as  high  as  the 
palms,  with  the  white  blocks  lying  in  the  sand. 
Here  there  is  a  good  view  into  the  interior  up 
the  valley,  along  which  date-palms  are  seen  grow- 
ing in  patches ;  there  are  also  a  few  dom-palms, 
notably  one  overhanging  the  ruins. 

Mr.  Milne  describes  the  ruins  of  the  Mosque 
of  Moses  as  follows  : — "  The  blocks  marked  *  A ' 
are  of  alabaster,  whilst  those  marked  '  G  '  are 
of  granite,  all  much  weathered.  The  alabaster 
blocks  are  about  three  feet  long,  and  one  foot 
six  inches  square.  They  all  appeared  to  have 
been  worked,  but  the  edges  are  now  rounded  : 
one  appeara  to  form  a  portion  of  a  column,  and 
there  would  seem  to  have  been  two  squares,  one 
within  the  other,  the  south  end  of  the  inner 
one  being  semicircular,  and  there  may  have 
been  another  enclosure  yet  further  out ;  but  it 
is  difficult  to  say.  There  are  several  large  mounds 
near  it,  which  may  possibly  contain  other  remains. 
The  whole  is  being  rapidly  covered  with  sand, 
which  is  seen  by  its  encroachments  on  the  palm 
groves,  which  the  natives  try  to  prevent  by  erecting 

FOR  T  OF  MIDI  AN.  3  5 1 

fences.  In  one  place  the  fence  has  been  destroyed 
by  the  sand,  and  another  erected  further  in." 

On  the  chart  of  the  Eed  Sea  the  ruins  of  the 
ancient  Fort  of  Mfigna  (or  Midian),  and  the  en- 
campment, with  the  running  stream  of  water,  are 
all  placed  much  too  far  inland.  The  fort  is  not 
more  than  half  a  mile  from  the  sea.  Milne  went 
as  far  as  the  running  water;  and,  from  what  he 
says,  there  must  be  at  the  very  least  a  thousand 
palm  trees.  The  Beduin  who  was  with  us  last 
night  now  came  on  board  for  some  wine  as 
"  medicine "  for  his  stomach,  he  said.  Hashim 
had  some  for  cooking,  so  he  gave  him  a  little. 
Then  he  came  to  me,  calling  out,  "  Hakim  Bashi " 
several  times.  As  I  knew  he  had  only  come  to 
beg,  I  pretended  not  to  hear,  but  at  last  was 
obliged  to  turn  round  to  him.  His  petition  was, 
after  all,  a  very  reasonable  one.  It  appeared  that 
he  had  accompanied  Mr.  Milne  to  the  Mosque  of 
Moses,  and  now  wanted  four  piastres  as  bakhshish, 
which  I  gave  him,  and  he  went  away  rejoicing. 

Off  and  on  all  day  the  pilot  has  been  diving, 
or  looking  for  the  anchor.  He  sits  in  the  bow  of 
the  boat,  with  his  head  down  almost  to  the  level 
of  the  water,  into  which  he  looks  with  all  his 
might.     They  say  they  know  where  it  is ;   but  I 


see  do  proof  of  it.  In  the  afternoon  I  spoke 
seriously  to  the  Captain  about  our  going  on.  He 
says  the  weather  is  still  too  bad ;  but  if  it  would 
only  become  a  little  calmer,  he  would  start,  and 
leave  the  anchor  to  be  fished  up,  or  at  least  secured 
by  the  Beduius.  Towards  nightfall  he  made  a 
great  boast  of  starting  during  the  night,  at  all  risks, 
so  as  to  anchor  at  Akaba  to-morrow  afternoon. 
But  as  there  were  no  signs  of  getting  up  the 
steam  I  knew  that  this  was  all  talk.  After  I  had 
gone  to  bed  I  sent  for  him,  and  suggested  that  he 
should  get  up  steam  at  all  events,  as,  should  it 
come  on  to  blow  so  hard  as  to  make  the  anchor 
part,  he  would  be  able  to  prevent  the  ship  drifting 
on  the  lee-shore.  But  he  said  he  was  prepared  for 
this  by  setting  the  two  jibs,  and  so  putting  the 
vessel  before  the  wind.  With  this  I  must  needs 
be  content. 

January  26. — At  about  7  a.m.  the  Captain  came 
down  into  my  cabin  before  I  was  up,  to  tell  me  the 
night  had  been  worse  than  the  two  preceding 
nights,  and  at  one  time  he  really  thought  the 
anchor  had  slipped.  This  morning,  however,  the 
weather  has  calmed,  and  he  had  made  up  his 
mind  to  start,  and  continue  all  night,  so  as  to 
get  to  Akaba  to-morrow  morning.    I  shall  believe 



him  when  we  are  really  off  But,  in  fact,  when  I 
came  on  deck  to  breakfast  at  eight  o'clock  I  found 
the  fires  were  really  lighted,  whicli  looks  as  if  he 
were  in  earnest.  We  are  here  in  2  8°  23'  30"  N. 
latitude,  and  Akaba  is  in  29°  29',  so  that  we  have 
some  sixty-six  miles  to  run.  The  Captain  and 
pilot  are  still  looking  for  the  anchor ! 

I  was  copying  out  some  of  Milne's  geological 
notes,  when,  at  10.15  A-M*>  I  heard  the  steam- 
whistle  as  a  signal  for  starting,  and  the  ship  be- 
gan moving.  At  10.30  the  boat  was  up,  and  we 
were  off.  It  was  a  lovely  morning,  only  the  sea 
rather  rough,  and  the  wind  ahead  as  usual :  draw- 
ing as  it  does  down  the  immense  funnel  from  as 
far  as  the  Bay  of  Tiberias,  it  is  almost  constantly 
from  the  north.  We  keep  close  along  the  Arabian 
coast,  which  screens  us  a  little  from  the  wind, 
and  gives  us  a  smoother  sea  than  we  should  have 
farther  off  the  shore.  Still  the  waves  make  the 
little  steamer  (she  is  only  sixty-four  tons)  pitch  a 
good  deal,  and  prevent  the  screw  from  working  as 
it  should.  The  Captain  says  we  are  not  doing 
more  than  two  miles  an  hour,  but  we  have  a  cur- 
rent of  one  mile  in  our  favour,  and  as  we  go  on  the 
weather  improves,  so  that  we  begin  to  make  very 

decent  way,  on  the  whole.    She  is  too  much  down 



iu  the  stern,  as  was  remarked  at  Suez ;  and  in  con- 
sequence of  which  it  was  thought  well  to  shift 
forward  some  of  the  things  on  board,  so  as  to  bring 
her  head  down.  To  me  the  sea  seems  as  nothing 
compared  to  what  I  have  been  in  on  the  coast  of 
Kent  in  an  open  boat.  Certainly,  I  have  crossed 
the  Channel  over  and  over  again  in  very  much 
worse  weather ;  but  then  allowance  must  be  made 
for  the  size  of  our  little  craft. 

At  i  p.m.  we  passed  under  a  bluff  of  granite 
rising  perpendicularly  out  of  the  water,  which  cor- 
responding to  the  dip  of  the  land,  is  without  sound- 
ings. It  is  called  Jebel  Suw£khed ;  but  in  the 
' Sailing  Directions'  it  is  called  Tayyibat  Isem, 
which  I  fancy  to  be  some  misunderstanding  as  to 
its  name  being  "  good."  The  sea  has  had  such  an 
effect  upon  poor  Milne  that  he  could  not  get  up  to 
lunch;  but  he  must  needs  eat  a  large  lump  of 
cheese,  and  then  take  an  orange  to  keep  himself 
from  being  sick ! 

As  we  went  along  under  the  side  of  the  moun- 
tain we  saw  a  man  and  a  boy  walking  along  a 
narrow  shelf  of  sand  forming  a  sort  of  beach  at  its 
foot.  At  the  distance  at  which  we  were  it  seemed 
to  us  as  if  there  was  scarcely  room  for  them  to 
walk.    What  they  were  doing  there,  and  how  they 

BIR-EL-MASH1  YAH.  355 

got  there,  was  a  puzzle  to  us  ;  but  the  mystery 
was  solved  by  our  coming  in  front  of  a  cleft  in  the 
mountain  ma*s,  at  the  foot  of  which  was  a  little 
beach  with  date  trees  growing  on  it.  I  was  sorry 
Milne  was  not  in  a  state  to  make  a  sketch  of  it, 
but  I  supplied  his  place,  and  made  a  rough  draw- 
ing of  it,  which  will  serve  as  the  basis  of  a  very 
pretty  picture.  It  was  now  about  1.45  p.m.  As 
we  proceeded  we  witnessed  signs  of  incipient  vege- 
tation on  the  face  of  the  disintegrated  granite  :  a 
tuft  of  grass  here  and  there,  and  then  a  single  stunted 
tamarisk.  By  and  by  the  sandstone  took  the  place 
of  the  granite,  and  the  trees  increased  gradually  in 
number,  so  as  to  almost  form  a  little  wood.  We 
kept  along  in  the  deep  water  close  along  the  shore, 
the  hills  gradually  decreasing  in  height,  till  at  3.20 
p.m.  we  stopped  under  a  long  sandy  point  called 
Bir-el-M&shiyah,  in  280  51'  north  latitude,  forty 
miles  from  the  head  of  the  Gulf  of  Akaba.  About 
half  a  mile  back  from  the  beach  there  is  an  ex- 
posure of  white  coral  and  other  shells.  This  is 
about  twenty' feet  above  the  level  of  the  sea  by 
aneroid.  Excepting  these  banks,  the  rest  of  the 
country  is  a  flat  plain,  gently  sloping  upwards  for 
two  or  three  miles  towards  a  range  of  granite  hills. 
We  went  in  close  to  the  land,  and  as  the  anchor 


would  not  hold  in  the  sandy  bottom,  it  was  carried 
on  shore  and  a  hole  dug  for  it.  A  warp  was  also 
carried  on  shore.  Here  we  are  to  remain  till  even- 
ing, when,  if  the  wind  falls,  we  are  to  go  on  during 
the  night,  so  as  to  get  to  Akaba  in  the  morning. 
The  wind  is  rising  just  now,  aud  I  much  fear  we 
shall  have  to  remain  here  all  night.  It  is  a  good 
thing  that  we  made  the  dStour  by  Aiminah,  as 
we  thereby  escaped  the  bad  weather  in  the  Gulf, 
where  it  must  have  been  infinitely  worse  than  it 
was  with  us. 

I  cannot  but  look  upon  our  voyage  as  having 
been  thus  far  most  fortunate  and  most  favourable. 
When  the  subject  is  calmly  considered,  the  under- 
taking is  a  most  perilous  one.  The  pilot  knows 
the  sea,  it  is  true ;  but  neither  the  Captain  nor  any 
of  his  crew  have  ever  been  up  the  Gulf  before  ;  and 
as  to  the  young  engineer — he  tells  me  it  is  the 
first  sea  voyage  he  has  ever  made,  his  experience 
having  been  only  on  shore  and  in  the  harbour  of 
Alexandria ;  however,  he  knows  his  business  very 
well.  Milne  is  up  and  well  the  moment  we  reach 
land,  and  is  already  gone  on  shore.  I  stay  on  board 
to  write  up  my  journal  for  yon,  as  the  Captain 
says  he  shall  not  remain  at  Akaba,  and  I  want  you 
to  have  the  latest  news.    This  day  fortnight  I  hope 

THE  '  PAL1NURUS:  357 

you  will  receive  this  letter.  If  the  Captain  waits  a 
day  at  Akaba,  I  think  I  may  be  able  to  send  you 
a  telegram  from  JEtham  (Wady  Ithem).  Before 
dinner-time  Milne  returned  on  board,  bringing 
with  him  some  sketches  he  had  made,  and  a  col- 
lection of  rocks  and  pieces  of  coral  as  usual.  The 
coast  has  risen  here  twenty  feet  at  least. 

January  27  (Tuesday). — Please  God  this  is  our 
last  day  at  sea.  Before  I  went  to  bed  last  night 
the  Captain  talked  of  starting  as  soon  as  the  tide 
changed,  which  I  understood  him  to  say  would  be 
about  9  p.m.  ;  but  at  1 1  p.m.  I  got  up,  and  looking 
over  the  compauion-hatchway,  I  saw  the  Captain 
and  all  the  crew  fast  asleep  I  At  midnight  I  got 
up  again,  when  I  found  two  of  the  men  beginning 
to  stir,  and  the  Captain  was  also  in  motion.  He 
told  me  they  were  on  the  point  of  starting ;  and  in 
a  few  minutes  the  word  "  presta  "  (ready)  was  given 
from  the  engine-room  ;  whereupon  the  Captain 
called  all  the  crew  up.  On  this  I  returned  to  my 
bed,  where  I  listened  to  the  pleasing  sound  of 
weighing  anchor  and  stowing  the  chain  cable  on 
the  deck  right  over  my  head.  By  one  o'clock  iu 
the  morning  we  were  off :  the  moon  was  still  up, 
so  that  we  had  her  light  till  full  on  our  course. 
At  seven  o'clock  I  got  up  and  went  on  deck.     It 


was  a  delightful  still  morning,  the  sky  ratbv 
overcast,  and  the  sea  quite  smooth.  We  were  now 
steaming  with  the  current  right  up  the  middle  of 
the  Gulf.  Last  night  I  read  to  Captain  Sciassar 
what  is  said  in  the  *  Sailing  Directions '  about  the 
Palinurus  having  been  thrice  blown  from  her 
anchors  (in  1830),  which  he  repeated  to  the  chief 
mate ;  whereupon  they  congratulated  themselves 
on  being  with  me ;  but  who  could  say  whether  they 
would  have  my  good  fortune  on  their  return  voy- 
age. I  told  them  the  danger  was  in  coming  up, 
not  in  going  down  the  Gulf,  the  wind  being  almost 
always  from  the  north. 

At  8  a.m.,  the  wind  having  shifted  a  little,  we 
hoisted  sail,  and  continued  on  a  perfectly  smooth 
sea  !  I  am  now  getting  very  anxious  and  nervous. 
To-morrow  will  perhaps  decide  my  fate.  I  have 
perfect  faith,  and  yet  one  cannot  help  doubting  at 
times  whether  there  may  not,  perhaps,  be  some 
great  mistake  after  all.  If  so,  I  must  be  content 
to  bear  it ;  but  I  will  not  doubt.  I  feel  sure  that 
I  am  right,  and  that  a  few  hours  will  prove  me  to 
be  so.  I  cannot  be  so  grossly  deceived.  Yester- 
day it  was  intensely  cold,  the  wind  at  times  blow- 
ing very  sharp :  between  this  and  the  burning  sun 
I  have  got  a  little  erysipelas  in  the  left  ear,  so  this 

1 1 

JESIRA T  FIR  >dN.  359 

morning  I  have  put  my  kefiya  over  my  cap.  It 
protects  the  ears,  which  the  hat  with  its  brim  and 
puggery  does  not  at  all.  The  sun  is  burning  hot 
with  scarcely  a  breath  of  air  this  morning. 

At  10.30  a.m.  we  passed  Jesirat  Fir'dn  (Pha- 
raoh's Island)  opposite  Akaba.1  In  the  'Sail- 
ing Directions '  this  island  is  described  thus: — 
"Jazirrat  Far'aun,  or  Pharaoh  Island,  about  a 
quarter  of  a  mile  long  and  300  or  400  yards  broad, 
lies  in  lat.  290  24',  and  from  the  fort  and  village 
of  Akabah,  S.W.  by  W.  £  W.,  distant  about  eight 
miles.  The  fortification  occupies  the  whole  of 
the  top  of  the  island.  The  Arabs  at  Akabah  will 
bring  supplies  to  this  place  in  five  or  six  hours, 
but  they  are  not  to  be  trusted"  There  are  caves 
in  the  island  they  say ;  but  I  fancy  they  are  tanks 
only.  Abu  Nabut  speaks  of  a  cave,  lf  Maghara," 
near  it ;  but  I  can  get  no  satisfactory  informa- 
tion from  him.  Every  one  must,  I  think,  admit 
that  these  traditions  about  Moses  and  Pharaoh 
in  this  Gulf  are  at  least  quite  as  valuable  as  those 
in  the  Gulf  of  Suez ;  especially  when  taken  in 
connection  with  my  hypothesis  with  respect  to 
the  position  of  Mitzraim  and  Midian,*  and  that 

1  See"Diario  in  Arabia  Petrea,"di  Giaminartino  Arconati  Vis- 
con  ti,  Rome,  1872,  pp.  270-275,  and  Robinson's  BiMical  Researches, 
vol.  i.  pp.  160,  161.  *  See  chap.  ii. 


the  Gulf  of  Akaba  is  the  Yam-Suph,  or  Red 
(Edom)  Sea — navigated  by  the  fleets  of  King 
Solomon  and  Hyram,  king  of  Tyre1 — which  was 
crossed  by  the  Israelites  on  the  occasion  of  their 
departure  from  Mitzraim,  as  recorded  in  the  four- 
teenth chapter  of  the  Book  of  Exodus. 

On  the  cumulative  authority  of  the  facts  adduced 
in  the  second  chapter  of  this  work,  it  may  be 
asserted  without  fear  of  confutation  that  by  no  pos- 
sibility could  "  the  Land  of  Mitzraim,"  the  country 
of  the  bondage  of  the  Israelites,  have  been  on  the 
Isthmus  of  Suez,2  or  anywhere  to  the  westward  of 
it  within  the  limits  of  the  present  country  of  Egypt, 
The  result  thus  obtained  leads  directly  to  the  fur- 
ther inference  that  the  Gulf  of  Suez  cannot  be  that 
sea  which — by  the  direction  and  under  the  miracu- 
lous protection  of  the  Almighty — was  crossed  by 
the  Israelites  in  their  flight  from  Mitzraim,  and 
must,  therefore,  have  been  the  Gulf  of  Akaba. 

The  argument  by  which  this  conclusion  has  been 
arrived  at,  however  greatly  at  variance  with  the 
notions  on  the  subject  hitherto  universally  adopted, 
might,  doubtless,  be  considered  of  itself  sufficiently 
conclusive;  but  it  fortunately  happens  that  we 

1  i  Kings,  chaps,  ix.  z. 
J  See  Origines  Biblicse,  p.  176,  note. 

GULF  OF  AKABA.  361 

possess  the  means  of  arriving  at  the  same  result 
from  the  Scriptures  themselves — the  authority  of 
which  is  confirmed  by  my  disputing,  as  I  do,  the 
"  traditional "  explanation  of  the  geography  of  the 

The  arguments  which  are  thus  adducible  from 
Scripture  are  as  follows : — The  scene  of  the  mira- 
culous passage  of  the  children  of  Israel  is  desig- 
nated by  the  inspired  historian  as  the  WO* 
(Yam-Suph) ; x  by  which  designation,  and  by  no 
other,  it  continued  to  be  known  to  the  Israelites 
throughout  the  whole  course  of  their  national 
history.8  This  name,  it  may  be  remarked,  has  been 
variously  rendered  in  the  Septuagint  version  by 
the  expressions  'EpvOpa  Oahaaaa,  Oakaaaa  £Uf>,  and 
l<jya.Ti\  Oakaoaa ;  but  in  the  Vulgate  it  is  (I  believe 
invariably)  translated  Mare  Rubrum,  which  autho- 
rity has  been  followed  by  all  the  modern  versions 
of  the  Bible,  in.  which  accordingly  it  is  styled 
the  Red  Sea.  In  speaking,  therefore,  of  the 
Yam-Suph,  I  use  the  expression  " Red  Sea"  as 
a  synonymous  term :  and  at  the  same  time,  in 
order  to  avoid  ambiguity,  I  distinguish  the  entire 

1  Origines  Biblicae,  p.  177 ;  Exod.  xv.  4. 

1  See  particularly  Josh.  xxiv.  6 ;  Ps.  cxxxvi.  13,  15  ;  and  Neb. 
ix.  9. 


sea  between  the  coasts  of  Arabia  and  Africa,  to 
which  the  name  of  the  "  Red  Sea  "  is  usually  applied 
by  geographers, — and  of  which  the  Yam-Suph,  or 
Red  Sea  proper,  forms  a  part  only, — by  the  name  of 
the  Arabian  Gulf.  So  that  the  two  head  gulfs 
into  which  the  Arabian  Gulf  is  divided  at  its  north- 
ern extremity  are  referred  to  by  me  respectively  by 
the  names  of  the  Gulf  of  Suez  and  the  Gulf  of 

The  only  information  respecting  the  situation  of 
the  Red  Sea  to  be  derived  from  those  texts  of  Scrip- 
ture in  which  that  sea  is  mentioned  in  connection 
with  Mitzraim,  and  as  being  the  scene  of  the  miracle 
wrought  in  favour  of  the  Israelites,  is  that  it  lay 
in  an  easterly  direction  from  Mitzraim ;  l  and 
that  the  Israelites,  having  crossed  it,  "went  out 
into  the  Wilderness  of  Shur,"2  which,  we  are  told, 
was  "  before  (this  is  not  necessarily  the  east)  Mitz- 
raim, as  thou  goest  toward  Assyria."3 

Dismissing  from  our  minds  for  a  moment  the 
formation  of  the  low  country  in  the  neighbour- 
hood of  the  Gulf  of  Suez,  the  foregoing  references 
to  the  locality  of  the  Red  Sea  might  be  considered 

1  "  And  the  Lord  turned  a  mighty  strong  west  wind,  which  took 
away  the  locusts,  and  cast  them  into  the  Red  Sea ;  there  remained 
not  one  locust  in  all  the  coasts  of  Mitzraim." — Exod.  x.  19. 

2  Exod.  xv.  22.  3  Gen.  xxv.  18. 

RED  (EDOM)  SEA.  363 

to  be  applicable  either  to  that  Gulf  or  to  the  Gulf 
of  Akaba,  according  to  the  view  which  we  might 
take  of  the  position  of  the  country  of  Mitzraim,  on 
the  eastern  side  of  which  that  sea  is  thus  shown  to 
have  been  situate*  There  is  another  set  of  texts, 
however,  which  do  not  refer  to  the  passage  of  the 
Red  Sea,  but  which  describe  the  sea  which  washed 
the  shores  of  Edom  as  being  known,  in  the  time  of 
Moses,  in  that  of  Solomon,  and  even  so  late  as  the 
age  of  the  Prophet  Jeremiah,  by  the  same  name  of 
Yam-Suph  (Exodus  xv.  4) : 1  which  description  (as 
it  is  by  other  texts  of  Scripture  determined  that 
the  position  of  the  country  of  Edom  was  to  the 
southward  of  the  Dead  Sea),2  it  is  evident,  can- 

1  "  And  when  we  passed  by  from  our  brethren  the  children  of 
Esau,  which  dwelt  in  Seir,  through  the  way  of  the  plain  from  Elath 
and  from  Ezion-gaber,  we  turned  and  passed  by  the  way  of  the 
wilderness  of  Mnab.n — Deut  ii.  8. 

"  And  King  Solomon  made  a  navy  of  ships  in  Ezion-geber,  which 
is  beside  Eloth,  on  the  shore  of  the  Bed  Sea  [Yam-Suph],  in  the 
land  of  Edom." — 1  Kings  ix.  26. 

"  Therefore  hear  the  counsel  of  the  Lord,  that  He  hath  taken 
against  Edom  ;  and  His  purposes,  that  He  hath  purposed  against  the 
inhabitants  of  Teman  :  Surely  the  least  of  the  flock  shall  draw  them 
out.  The  earth  is  moved  at  the  noise  of  their  fall ;  at  the  cry  the 
river  thereof  was  heard  in  the  Bed  Sea  [Yam-Suph]." — Jer.  xlix. 
20,  21. 

"  Then  went  Solomon  to  Ezion-geber,  and  to  Eloth,  at  the  sea- 
side in  the  laud  of  Edom." — 2  Chron.  viiL  17. 

*  "  Then  your  south  quarter  shall  be  from  the  wilderness  of  Zin, 


not  be  applicable,  under  any  circumstances,  to 
the  Gulf  of  Suez,  but  to  the  Gulf  of  Akaba 

If,  therefore,  the  Yam-Suph  referred  to  by 
Moses,  by  Joshua,  by  David,  and  by  Nehemiah,  as 
the  scene  of  the  miraculous  deliverance  of  the 
Israelites,  be  not  the  same  sea  as  the  Yam-Suph 
mentioned  in  connection  with  the  couutry  of  Edom, 
by  Moses  himself,  and  also  by  Joshua,  and  subse- 
quently by  the  writers  of  the  books  of  Kings  and 
Chronicles,  and  by  the  Prophet  Jeremiah,  we  are 

along  by  the  coast  of  Edom,  and  your  south  border  shall  be  the  out- 
most coast  of  the  salt  sea  eastward.'* — Numb,  xxxiv.  3. 

"  This  then  was  the  lot  of  the  tribe  of  the  children  of  Judah  by 
their  families  ;  even  to  the  border  of  Edom,  the  wilderness  of  Zin, 
southward,  was  the  uttermost  part  of  the  south  coast  And  their 
south  border  was  from  the  shore  of  the  salt  sea,  from  the  bay  that 
looketh  southward." — Josh.  xv.  1,  2. 

1  In  Dr.  Beke's  Diary,  14th  April  1835,  ne  ^y8 :  u  The  following 
text  appears  conclusive  as  to  the  position  of  the  Yam-Suph : — *  And 
I  will|set  thy  bounds  from  the  Bed  Sea  [Yam-Suph],  even  unto  the 
sea  of  the  Philistines,  and  from  the  desert  unto  the  river*  (Exod. 
xxiiL  31),  written  (as  seems  certain)  during  the  sojourn  by  Mount 
Sinai,  before  the  Qulf  of  Akaba  could  have  been  known  to  Moses 
and  the  Israelites,  according  to  the  vulgar  notion  that  it  was  the 
Qulf  of  Suez  that  was  crossed  by  the  Israelites,  but  yet  referring  to 
the  Qulf  of  Akaba  as  the  Yam-Suph  which  was  to  be  the  eastern 
limit  of  the  Promised  Land.  I  conceive  also  that  Gerar  must  have 
been  to  the  south  of  the  Dead  Sea,  at  the  eastern,  and  not  the  western 
side  of  the  Promised  Land,  m  the  country  of  the  Philistines  before 
they  removed  to  the  coast  of  the  Mediterranean  and  drove  out  the 
Canaanites.  This  they  must  have  done  subsequently  to  the  time 
of  Abraham,  Isaac,  and  Jacob,  and  during  the  time  of  the  bondage 
in  Mitzraim." 

YAM-SUPH.  365 

led  to  the  strange  and  indeed  most  improbable 
conclusion,  that  the  two  Gulfs  of  Suez  and  Akaba, 
which  are  at  a  distance  from  each  other  of  more 
than  a  hundred  and  fifty  miles,  were,  during  the 
eutire  period  of  the  existence  of  the  Israelitish 
nation,  not  merely  known  by  the  same  name, 
but  were  even  perfectly  undistinguishable  the 
one  from  the  other : — a  conclusion  which  nothing 
but  the  gratuitous  assumption  that  the  Gulf  of 
Suez  was  the  Red  Sea  passed  by  the  Israelites 
would  for  a  moment  have  allowed  to  be  enter- 

Should  the  arguments  and  proofs  already  ad- 
duced be  not  considered  even  more  than  sufficient 
to  rebut  that  assumption,  and  to  demonstrate  that 
the  Gulf  of  Akaba,  and  not  the  Gulf  of  Suez,  is 
invariably  referred  to  in  Scripture  by  the  designa- 
tion of  Yam-Suph,  or  Red  Sea  * — and  particularly 
that  it  is  the  sea  which  was  passed  through  by  the 
Israelites  on  their  Exodus  from  Mitzraim — the 
statement  of  Scripture  with  respect  to  the  natural 
agent  employed  by  the  Almighty  to  effect  the 
miraculous  passage  will  incontestably  establish  the 

1  Ludolfi,  Commentarius  ad  Hutoriam  Ethiopicam,  L.  26,*  2  ;  and 
D'"titp  D1  of  Isaiah  rL  15,  probably  the  Gulf  of  Suez. 

'  Dictionnairt  Univerul  de  Geographic,  tome  ler,  Paris,  1823,  in 
Cahen's  Bible,  Exode,  pp.  115,  116 ;  Ibid.,  p.  22,  note. 


fact  thus  asserted ;  for  the  words  of  the  text  are 
totally  inapplicable  to  the  situation  of  the  Golf  of 
Suez,  and  can,  in  fact,  refer  only  to  the  Gulf  of 
Akaba.  I  refer  to  the  words  of  the  inspired  his- 
torian with  respect  to  the  "strong  east  wind" 
which  blew  during  the  passage  of  the  Israelites, 
and  made  them  pass  on  dry  land.1 

Having  then,  as  I  conceive,  determined  beyond 
the  possibility  of  doubt  the  true  position  of  the 
Red  Sea  of  Scripture,  I  may  be  allowed  to  remark, 
that  there  cannot  be  a  more  striking  exemplifica- 
tion of  the  consequences  of  permitting  any  human 
authority  to  supersede  the  exercise  of  our  reason 
than  the  erroneous  position  which,  down  to  the  pre- 
sent time,  has  been  attributed  to  that  sea. 

Dean  Stanley,  in  the  preface  to  his  "  Sinai  and 
Palestine"  (p.  xxi.),  after  remarking  that  to  some  per- 
sons "  the  mere  attempt  to  define  sacred  history  by 
natural  localities  and  phenomena  will  seem  deroga- 
tory to  their  ideal  or  divine  character,"  very  justly 
adds,  that  "  if,  for  example,  the  aspect  of  the  ground 
should,  in  any  case,  indicate  that  some  of  the  great 
wonders  in  the  history  of  the  Chosen  People  were 
wrought   through   means  which,  in  modern  lan- 

1  Origines  BiblicaD,  pp.  1 81-189,  and  "  Mount  Sinai  a  Volcano," 
pp.  29-31  ;  Exod.  xiv.  21. 



guage  would  be  called  natural,  we  must  remember 
that  such  a  discovery  is,  in  fact,  an  indirect 
proof  of  the  general  correctness  of  the  truth  of  the 

The  wonder  is,  how  an  error  of  such  moment, 
and  one  which  was  so  easy  of  rectification,  should 
during  so  many  ages  have  maintained  its  ground 
undetected,  and,  as  far  as  I  have  the  means  of 
judging,  even  without  the  slightest  suspicion  of  its 

It  is  a  satisfaction,  however,  that  we  at  least 
possess  the  means  of  detecting  and  explaining  to 
some  extent  the  origin  of  this  error,  which  is 
simply  as  follows : — Independently  of  the  general 
ignorance  of  the  Jews  subsequently  to  the  loss  of 
their  national  independence,  which  led  them  to 
imagine  that  the  Egypt  of  Profane  History  was  the 
country  in  which  the  bondage  of  their  ancestors 
had  taken  place,  we  have  the  most  convincing 
proof  from  Herodotus  that  in  his  time  the  exist- 
ence of  the  Gulf  of  Akaba  was  unknown  to  the 
Egyptians,  and,  h  fortiori,  to  the  Jews  then  resi- 
dent in  Egypt.  According  to  his  account,  the  sea 
to  the  east  of  the  Arabian  peninsula  (the  Persian 
Gulf  of  the  present  day),  and  also  the  Indian 
Ocean   to   the   south   of  Arabia,  were   called  by 


the  name  of  'EpvOpa  0dkaa<ra9l  with  which  sea  the 
Arabian  Gulf  is  correctly  stated  by  him  to  have 

We  are  more  especially  led  to  the  conclusion 
that  this  historian,  in  common  with  the  Egyptians, 
from  whom  he  derived  his  information,  was  igno- 
rant of  the  existence  of  the  eastern  branch  of  the 
Arabian  Gulf,  by  the  statement  which  he  makes 
when  describing  one  of  the  regions  into  which 
he  divides  the  world — namely,  that  this  region 
"commences  in  Persia,  and  is  continued  to  the 
Red  Sea  'EpvOpa  Oakcuraa,  here  the  Persian  Gulf. 
Besides  Persia,  it  comprehends  Assyria  and  Arabia, 
naturally  terminating  in  the  Arabian  Gulf,  into 
which  Darius  introduced  a  channel  of  [canal  from] 
the  Nile;"8  thus  unequivocally  establishing  his 
ignorance  of  the  existence  of  any  division  between 
the  mainland  of  Arabia  and  the  peninsula  of 
Pharan,  or  Mount  Tor.4 

1  Clio,  clxxx. ;  Melpom.  xxxvii.,  xxxix. ;  and  see  notes  from 
Larcher  and  Bryant  on  the  last,  in  Beloe's  translation.  It  is  true 
that  in  Melpom.  xli.  Herodotus  refers  to  the  Arabian  Gulf  by  the 
name  of  'EpvBpd.  0rfXcur<ra;  but,  at  the  same  time,  he  clearly  dis- 
tinguishes this  from  his  general  application  of  it. 

8  Euterpe,  xi. 

8  Melpom.  xxxix.  In  quoting  Beloe's  translation  of  Herodotus, 
on  account  of  its  being  the  version  which  is  best  known  in  this 
country,  it  is  scarcely  necessary  to  protest  against  its  many  well- 
known  inaccuracies  and  defects. 

4  In  Dr.  Beke's  Diary,  nth  November  1833, 1  find  the  following 


This   being,   then,    the   state   of  knowledge   in 
Egypt  respecting  the  Arabian  Gulf  450  years  be- 
fore the  Christian  era,  we  can  readily  understand 
how  the  Jews,  who  subsequently  to  that  period 
resided  in  Egypt,  and  particularly  in  Alexandria 
the  extreme  western  point  of  that  country,  should 
have  entertained  similar  notions  on  the  subject; 
and  as  they  had  (we  know  not  how  long  anterior 
to  the  epoch  of  the  Septuagint  translation)  also 
adopted  the  idea  that  the  Mitzraim  of  Scripture 
was  identical  with  the  then  flourishing  kingdom  of 
Egypt,  under  the  sway  of  the  mighty  dynasty  of 
the  Ptolemies, — in  the  face,  however,  of  the  pro- 
phecies, which  had  said  that  Mitzraim  should  be 
"the  basest  of  the  kingdoms,"1  and   that  there 
should    "  be   no   more  a  prince   of  the  land   of 
Mitzraim,"2 — it  is  readily   conceivable   how  the 
Gulf  of  Suez,  the   sea   immediately  to  the  east- 
ward of  Egypt,  should  have  been  regarded  as  the 
Red  Sea  in  which  the  host  of  Pharaoh  was  over- 
entry  :  "  It  is  clear  that  Herodotus  only  knew  the  Arabian  Gulf  as  a 
single  straight  gulf,  and  was  unconscious  of  the  bifurcated  head.   Ren- 
nell,  to  whom  I  have  referred  this  evening,  did  not  remark  this,  but 
lays  down  the  two  head  gulfs  in  his  map,  showing  (as  he  alleges)  the 
notions  of  Herodotus  on  geography.    This  error  at  once  explains  the 
application  of  the  name  of  the  VflQ  Q^  to  the  Gulf  of  Suez :  the 
Septuagint  were,  in  fact,  ignorant  of  the  existence  of  the  Gulf  of 
Akaba ! " 

1  Ezek.  xxix.  15.  *  Ezek.  xxx.  13. 

2  A 


whelmed.  When  once  this  conclusion  had  been 
formed,  and  the  Jewish  residents  in  Egypt  had 
thence  proceeded  to  determine  (as  they  conceived 
satisfactorily,)  the  sites  of  the  several  localities 
connected  with  that  miraculous  occurrence,  it 
would  have  been  expecting  too  great;  a  concession 
from  that  bigotry  which  unfortunately  has  gene- 
rally characterised  the  Rabbins  and  their  disciples, 
that  they  should  have  been  induced,  simply  by  an 
effort  of  reason,  to  reconsider  and  to  impugn  the 
authority  which  they  had  thus  recognised ;  so  that 
the  knowledge  subsequently  acquired  of  the  exis- 
tence of  the  Gulf  of  Akaba  would  have  availed 
them  literally  nothing. 

Yet,  however  the  Jews  may  have  persisted  in 
the  error  into  which  they  had  in  the  first  instance 
unintentionally  fallen,  it  is  quite  inconceivable 
how  this  erroneous  authority  should  have  so  un- 
hesitatingly been  followed  by  Christian  commen- 
tators and  travellers,  who  possessed  ample  means 
for  arriving  at  a  correct  judgment,  and  who  ought 
not  to  have  been  bound  in  the  trammels  which 
enslaved  those  from  whom  they  had  originally 
derived  their  false  impressions  on  the  subject. 

In  thus  establishing  the  fact  that  the  Gulf  of 
Akaba,  and  not  the  Gulf  of  Suez,  is  the  Yam- 


Suph,  or  Red  Sea  of  Scripture,  we  at  the  same 
time  obtain  the  strongest  confirmation  of  the  in- 
ference drawn  from  the  physical  condition  of 
Lower  Egypt  in  former  times,  that  that  country 
is  not  the  Mitzraim  of  Scripture. 

Having,  therefore,  demonstrated  that  the  Mitz- 
raim of  the  Bible  was  not  the  Egypt  of  Profane  His- 
tory, but  that  it  was  situated  somewhere  within 
the  basin  of  the  Wady  el  'Arish,  in  the  direction  of 
the  land  of  the  Philistines,  which  "  was  near ; " l 
and  that  the  Biblical  Midian  was  part  of  the  "  East 
Country,"2  i.e.9  to  the  east  of  the  Gulf  of  Akaba; 
and  further,  that  the  Red  Sea  of  Scripture,  through 
which  the  Israelites  passed  on  their  flight  from 
Mitzraim,  was  not  the  Gulf  of  Suez,  but  the  Gulf  of 
Akaba ;  I  shall  now  proceed  with  the  narrative  of 
my  journey  for  the  discovery  and  identification  of 
the  true  Mount  Sinai,  and  of  the  various  stations 
connected  with  the  Exodus  of  the  Israelites  from 

January  27,  continued. — The  sea  is  as  smooth 
as  glass.    We  have  not  met  with  a  single  sail  in 

1  Exod.  xiii.  17. 

2  Which  my  discoveries  at  Midian  (on  the  24th  January  1874) 
of  the  "  Mosque  of  Moses  "  and  "  Maghara  Sbo'eib,"  or  Jethro's  Cave, 
now  confirm.  See  Stanley's  "  Sinai  and  Palestine,"  pp.  33-35  (edit 
1864);  Ibid.,  pp.  191,  194,  post. 


the  Gulf,  not  even  a  row-boat  or  a  canoe  I  About 
two  o'clock  this  morning  the  man  on  watch  saw  a 
green  (?)  and  red  light,  which  he  took  for  a  light- 
house— not  very  likely  to  be  met  with  here.  It 
must  have  been  a  fire  lighted  by  some  Beduins. 

The  mountains  seem  to  fall  as  we  go  north,  but 
still  they  are  high  in  the  background.  Akaba  is 
in  sight,  thank  God !  and  the  Captain  is  going  to 
hoist  his  colours.  It  is  just  eleven  o'clock.  Milne 
made  a  drawing  of  the  approach  to  Akaba  and 
head  of  the  Gulf,  from  which  it  will  be  seen  that 
the  earth  and  sky  seem  to  meet,  so  little  is  the  rise. 
Not  a  mound  in  front.  It  is  a  basin,  where  the 
sides  slope  down  to  a  mere  line  in  the  horizon. 
As  we  approach  nearer  Akaba,  the  granite  continues 
on  both  sides  of  the  Gulf,  but  on  the  left  there  is 
also  what  appears  to  be  limestone.  On  the  right 
are  numerous  date-trees  along  the  beach,  and  also 
a  few  round  the  head  of  the  Gulf.  The  sea  is  as 
smooth  as  a  millpond ;  the  plain  behind  is  thickly 
covered  with  trees,  and  the  Castle  of  Akaba  is  nearly 
hidden  by  the  date-palms  which  surround  it.  We 
can  see  the  people  flocking  down  to  the  shore  in 
great  numbers,  surprised,  no  doubt,  at  seeing  so 
novel  a  sight  as  a  steamer  arrive  in  these  waters, 
and  wondering  what  it  can  mean. 



ARRIVAL  A  T  AKABA.  3  73 

The  Caravan  Hadj  road  goes  up  a  wady  behind 
the  castle.  The  mountains  on  the  west  side  of  the 
Wady  Arabah  are  visible  a  long  way  to  the  north ; 
in  fact,  as  far  as  the  eye  can  see.  Abu  Nabut  now 
tells  me  that  he  does  not  know  of  any  cave  here, 
and  you  know  he  so  positively  assured  me  he  had 
seen  it. 

At  12.30  we  approached  the  shore,  and  gave  a 
whistle,  and  at  12.40  we  anchored  opposite  the 
castle,  at  a  distance  of  nearly  half  a  mile.  The 
Captain  dressed  himself  as  well  as  he  could  without 
his  uniform  :  in  clean  shirt  and  blue  coat  with  naval 
buttons  (crescent  and  anchor),  and  went  on  shore.  As 
he  stepped  from  his  boat  all  the  people  crowded  round 
him:  the  soldiers  came  running  down  from  the  castle, 
and  (as  he  told  me  on  his  return)  they  received 
him  with  military  salute.  I  feel  very  ill  and  very 
shaky.  I  am  dreadfully  nervous,  and  scarcely  know 
what  to  do  with  myself.  At  half -past  two  o'clock 
the  Captain  returned  bringing  with  him  the  Egyp- 
tian Muhafiz  or  Commander,  a  Lieutenant  in  the 
army,  with  forty  soldiers  under  him.  We  saluted 
one  another,  and  I  ordered  coffee  for  him ;  but  he 
is  fasting  to-day,  on  account  of  the  festival  to-mor- 
row, when  they  kill  the  ram  on  Mount  Arafat  at 
Mecca,  and  he  therefore  could  not  take  any.     He 


has  already  received  orders  from  the  Khedive  to 
receive  me,  and  has  sent  to  the  Sheikh  of  the  Arabs, 
who  is  absent      Without  him,  he  says,  he  has  no 
power  to  do  anything  for  me.     There  are  Arab 
tribes  in  every  direction,  and  the  Sheikh  alone  is 
able  to  protect  me.     When  he  comes  I  shall  be 
consigned  into  his  hands,  and  when  I  have  done  all 
I  want  to  do,  he  will  bring  me  back  again  to  the 
Muhafiz.     The  letter  to  him  which  Consul  Eogers 
had  given  me  I  handed  to  him.    There  are  no  ships 
here,  not  even  a  boat ;  but  they  tell  me  a  steamer 
came  here  in  the  time  of  Ibrahim  Pasha,  and  every 
year  a  vessel  comes  from  Suez  to  the  garrison.    So, 
after  all,  the  Gulf  of  Akaba  is  not  so  unknown  as  I 
fancied.     This  does  away  with  a  good  deal  of  the 
romance,  does  it  not  ? 

Most  of  our  things  having  already  been  landed, 
at  3  p.m.  we  went  on  shore.  Before  leaving  the 
ship  I  gave  the  Captain  six  dollars  for  the  pihtf, 
and  a  couple  of  Napoleons  for  the  crew ;  for  they 
have  been  very  attentive  and  obliging — so  much 
so,  indeed,  that  I  was  almost  tempted  to  add 
another  Napoleon ;  but  I  hold  my  hand  on  start- 
ing lest  I  should  run  short  before  I  get  back  to 
Suez.  When  we  got  on  shore  we  found  our  tent 
ready  pitched,  and  that  of  the  cook  nearly  ready. 


CASTLE  OF  ARAB  A.  375 

But,  without  going  into  our  tent,  I  went  straight 
to  the  fortress  with  the  Commandant,  who  was  on 
the  beach  waiting  to  welcome  us.  Inside  the 
entrance  the  soldiers  of  the  garrison  were  drawn 
up  to  receive  us,  and  saluted  me  as  I  entered. 
They  had  not  their  guns. 

The  place  consists  of  a  large  square  courtyard, 
just  like  our  barrack  squares,  with  the  dwellings  of 
the  soldiers  all  round.  On  one  side  are  magazines 
for  the  provisions,  both  for  the  soldiers  and  also  for 
the  pilgrims  of  the  Hadj.  There  are  loopholes  all 
round  the  building  for  musketry,  and  at  each 
corner  is  a  cannon  of  seven  or  eight  pounds.  In 
the  courtyard  stands  a  fieldpiece  of  four  or  five 
pounds.  Altogether,  it  would  make  a  sure  defence 
against  any  number  of  Beduins.  The  castle  has 
lately  been  done  up,  and  looks  really  quite  respect- 
able. A  kind  of  divan  was  formed  for  us  on  one 
side  of  the  courtyard,  a  mat  and  cushions  being 
placed  on  a  sort  of  raised  bank.  Coffee  was  then 
brought  to  us,  of  which  I  had  to  drink  three  cups. 
The  Commandant  now  excused  himself  because  he 
had  to  go  and  superintend  the  distribution  of  the 
rations  of  meat  for  the  feast,  which  commences  this 
evening ;  and  whilst  we  were  sitting  there  a  can- 
non was  fired  off  to  signalise  its  commencement. 


The  garrison  consisted  formerly  of  the  Towara 
Arabs,  but  eight  months  ago  these  were  replaced 
by  Egyptian  regular  soldiers.  Besides  the  Com- 
mandant there  are  two  other  officers,  one  of  whom 
is  the  scribe  (adjutant  or  quartermaster),  who  came 
to  arrange  with  the  Captain  as  to  the  bill  of  health, 
which,  on  leaving  the  ship  and  landing  here,  has 
to  be  entered,  the  Commandant  affixing  his  seal. 
After  sitting  and  talking  some  time,  we  came  on 
to  our  tents,  accompanied  by  two  officers,  to  whom 
we  gave  coffee.  I  was  then  left  in  peace  to  write 
up  my  journal. 

I  am  in  great  anxiety  as  to  what  I  am  to  do.  I 
wanted  to  give  you  some  certain  news  by  the 
'  Erin '  on  her  return ;  but  this  unfortunate  ab- 
sence of  the  Sheikh  of  the  Arabs,  and  this  holiday, 
interferes  with  me,  and  I  fear  the  Captain  will  be 
obliged  to  leave.  But  he  must  be  dismissed  by 
me,  and  I  have  told  him  I  cannot  do  this  until 
the  arrival  of  the  Sheikh,  so  that  I  may  be  able  to 
report.  He  tells  me — though  I  scarcely  can  be- 
lieve him — that  his  first  orders  were  to  bring  me 
to  Akaba  and  wait  for  me.  This  is  contrary  to 
all  I  heard  at  Suez,  and  even  to  what  M?Killop 
Bey  wrote  to  me.  I  have  M?Killop's  letter  now 
before  me,  in  which  he  expressly  says  she  was  not 

THE  FEAST  OF  B A  TRAM.  377 

to  return  to  Suez,  but  to  coal  at  Tor,  and  proceed 
to  Massowah.  I  have  spoken  to  Milne  about  it, 
and  he  tells  me  it  was  Seid  Bey  who  thought  so 
at  first;  but  of  course  he  knew  nothing  of  the 

A  sentry  is  placed  at  the  door  of  our  tent,  and 
three  others  are  picketed  here,  their  arms  being 
piled  near  the  other  tents.  The  Muhafiz  is  deter- 
mined to  do  us  all  honour.  At  about  six  o'clock  I 
saw  the  guard  changed  in  due  form,  the  corporal 
standing  by  while  the  one  sentry  gave  the  consigne 
to  the  other :  we  were  then  just  sitting  down  to 
dinner,  Milne  having  come  in  with  sketches  of  all 
sorts.  Whilst  we  were  eating,  the  Muhafiz  came 
from  on  board  ship.  As  he  looked  in  at  our  tent 
door,  I  could  not  but  say,  "tifuddd"  (favorisca), 
on  which  he  entered  and  sat  down.  Of  course  I 
said  "  Bismillah"  but  he  said  it  was  yet  an  hour 
before  he  could  eat.  Hardly  had  this  conversation 
transpired  when  Abu  Nabut  came  in  and  most 
unceremoniously  told  him  to  ainolich,  he  had  no 
business  to  intrude  ;  on  which  the  poor  man 
bundled  off  without  so  much  as  saying  "Good- 
bye." It  was  hardly  decent;  but  still  we  could 
not  help  laughing.  In  the  evening  a  few  drops 
of  rain  fell.     There  must  have  been  a  good  deal  of 

3  7  8  DISCO  VER  Y  OF  MO  UNT  SINAI. 

rain  in  the  upper  country.  After  dinner  I  felt 
myself  so  tired  and  exhausted  that  I  was  glad  to 
go  to  bed  early. 

January  28,  The  Feast  of  Bairam. — At  sunrise 
three  guns  were  fired  from  the  fortress.  I  find 
that  Abu  Nabut  has  sent  away  our  guard  in  order 
that  they  may  keep  the  feast.  I  fancy  he  does 
not  care  to  have  to  support  them,  which  would 
hardly  fail  to  be  the  case  were  they  to  remain  here. 
The  '  Erin '  is  decked  out  with  all  the  colours  of 
the  rainbow  :  the  British  flag  being  now  at  the 
foremast  head.  I  have  had  a  famous  good  wash, 
and  put  on  all  clean  clothes,  of  which  I  was  in 
need,  after  all  the  dirt  we  had  experienced  on 
board.  I  did  not  sleep  very  well,  but  I  feel  myself 
very  much  better  this  morning.  The  wind  is  now 
from  the  south. 

At  8  a.m.  we  heard  lots  of  firing  of  musketry, 
but  we  did  not  trouble  ourselves  to  go  and  see  what 
was  doing.  There  is  a  village  here  composed  of 
miserable  mud  huts,  and  the  whole  population  may 
be  some  two  hundred  souls,  including  the  garrison. 
Each  soldier  has  his  "  wife."  The  date  plantations 
are  enclosed  within  mud  walls.  I  have  invited  our 
Captain  to  dine  with  us  to-day,  and  have  been 
writing  letters  for  him  to  take  back  to  Suez,  ex- 


pressure  of  my  satisfaction.  The  wind  continues 
to  blow  strongly  from  the  south,  and  it  is  raining 
hard  and  thundering !  By  3.30  p.m.  the  storm 
had  become  terrific,  so  that  Captain  Sciassar  could 
not  leave  if  he  would.  After  luncheon  he  came  to 
ask  me  for  some  medicine  for  the  people  in  the  vil- 
lage, so  I  had  to  open  my  medicine-chest.  You 
naughty  girl  I  what  a  variety  you  have  given  me. 
I  won't  take  any  of  them,  but  shall  bring  them  all 
home  to  you.  Thank  God,  I  have  as  yet  no  occa- 
sion for  them. 

In  the  course  of  the  afternoon  the  Commandant 
paid  me  a  visit,  accompanied  by  his  Lieutenant. 
We  talked  of  things  in  general,  and,  in  the  course 
of  conversation,  I  learned  that  his  pay  is  equal  to 
£4  per  month,  of  which  fifty  shillings  are  in  rations, 
and  thirty  only  in  money !  He  has  three  rations, 
and  can  sell  two  if  he  does  not  use  them.  Glorious 
pay  this  for  a  Commandant !  The  garrison  here 
were  Bashi  Bazuks — irregular  native  troops — till 
the  present,  regular,  force  came  eight  months 

January  29,  Thursday.  —  Fine  still  weather. 
The  Sheikh  has  not  yet  come,  and  there  are  no 
signs  of  him ;  but  they  say  he  will  surely  be  here 
to-day.    However  I  am  impatient,  and  have  sent 


Abu  Nabut  to  the  Haz  Bashi  (centurion)  to  say 
that,  if  I  cannot  move  about  from  here,  I  shall  go 
back  in  the  ship  to  Cairo,  and  report  it  to  the 
Khedive :  that  I  did  not  come  here  to  remain 
*  seated'  day  after  day.  This  had  the  desired 
effect,  and  soon  brought  the  Centurion  (such  is 
the  Commandant's  rank  in  the  army)  to  me. 
At  first  he  said  he  had  no  power  to  protect  me, 
except  close  to  the  fortress.  But  on  my  explain- 
ing I  only  wanted  to  go  to  Wady  Ithem  first,  he 
said  he  would  himself  accompany  me  so  far.  He 
therefore  went  off  to  prepare  the  escort.  Abu 
Nabut  thought  I  was  going  myself,  and  got  ready 
the  camels  and  also  commenced  preparing  the 
takhterawdn ;  but  I  stopped  this,  telling  him  Mr. 
Milne  would  go  alone. 

I  want  him  to  see  the  three  low  hills  Dean 
Stanley  speaks  of,  and  to  tell  me  what  he  thinks  of 
them — whether  volcanic  or  not.  As  he  comes  back 
he  will  look  at  the  head  of  the  Gulf,  and  at  the 
mountains  on  the  other  side  of  the  Arabah,  where 
he  ought  to  find  caves.  I  am  told  there  are  caves 
six  hours  up  the  Wady  Arabah,  but  they  are  too 
far  off  for  my  purpose.  There  is  also  a  cave  up  the 
mountain  opposite.  This  shows  that  there  are 
plenty  of  "  caves  "  about  here.     And  so  it  must  be, 

CO  UNTR  Y  OF  THE  HO  RITES.  3  8 1 

inasmuch  as  this  is  the  country  of  the  Horites,  or 
"Dwellers  in  Caves" — Troglodites.  Close  to  the 
shore  here,  within  a  few  feet  only,  fresh  water  may 
be  obtained  by  making  a  hole  in  the  sand  with  the 
hands,  a  few  inches  deep.  This  shows  that  we  are 
at  the  mouth  of  a  large  wady,  with  plenty  of  water 
above.  North-north-east  of  us  I  have  had  pointed 
out  to  me,  at  a  distance  of  half  a  day's  journey  or 
so,  Mount  Bdghir,  where  I  was  at  first  told  was  some 
memorial  of  Moses.  But  it  turns  out  to  be,  upon 
further  inquiry,  a  Wdy's  tomb,  which  is  visited  by 
the  Beduins. 

I  have  written  to  Mr.  Bates  a  few  lines,  which  I 
enclose.  If  you  please,  you  can  refer  him  to  what 
is  said  anywhere  in  the  newspapers  about  my 
journey.  It  would  be  well  for  Sir  Bar  tie  Frere  to 
be  able  to  make  some  communication  respecting 
my  proceedings,  as  the  meetings  of  the  Royal  Geo- 
graphical Society  are  now  being  held.  When  Cap- 
tain Sciassar  was  dining  with  us  last  night,  he  told 
me  that  he  had  mixed  the  charcoal  which  he  got 
from  Aintinah  with  his  coal,  and  so  made  up  some 
eight  tons  of  it ;  but  it  is  very  weak  fuel. 

When  we  were  at  Midian  (Madian)  it  appears 
that  a  hole  was  found  in  the  '  Erin's '  bottom  ;  but 
it  was  stopped  by  the  pilot's  diving.     I  noticed  his 


plunging  into  the  water,  but  thought  he  was  only 
enjoying  a  swim. 

9  a.m. — Milne  is  off  with  the  Haz  (Turkish  for 
ioo)  Bashi,  and  Hashim  (as  interpreter),  mounted 
on  camels.  They  take  their  lunch  with  them,  and 
will,  doubtless,  be  away  all  the  day.  Before  night 
I  may  probably  know  something  definite.  If  Milne 
finds  that  Dean  Stanley's  "  three  low  peaks"  are  vol- 
canic, the  point  may  be  looked  upon  as  settled.  If 
not,  it  will  not  follow  that  I  am  wrong ;  only  we 
shall  have  to  go  further  afield.  Still  I  confess  I 
shall  be  disappointed.  All  I  can  say  is,  that  I  am 
in  Gods  hands.  I  am  now  getting  everything 
ready  for  the  departure  of  the  '  Erin/  which  will 
take  place  either  to  night  or  to-morrow  morning. 
I  have  just  seen  the  Captain  and  arranged  with 
him.  Abu  Nabut  has  just  been  to  me  for  more 
money,  so  I  have  given  him  five  pounds.  I  am  now 
awaiting  Milne's  return  and  report ;  but  I  am  not 
nearly  so  nervously  anxious  as  I  have  been.  At 
all  events,  I  am  resigned  to  my  fate,  whatever  in 
God's  providence  it  may  be,  and  I  am  sanguine  and' 
confident  as  to  the  result.  I  can  now  do  little  or 
nothing  of  myself.  I  am  in  His  hands,  to  do  with 
me  as  it  seems  good  to  Him. 

3  p.m. — I  have  had  a  nice  nap  for  a  couple  of 


hours.  As  to  the  Sheikh,  there  is  still  no  sign  of 
him,  and  I  fear  I  shall  have  to  wait.  It  is  well 
that  I  have  acted  without  him.  Captain  Sciassar 
has  come  on  shore  with  his  sextant  to  regulate  his, 
and  my  time  by  the  sun.  He  makes  my  watch 
fifty  minutes  fast.  I  know  that  I  have  been 
gaining,  but  hardly  think  it  can  be  so  much. 
However,  this  cannot  much  signify,  as  we  have 
no  astronomical  observation  to  make.  In  other 
respects  I  am  well  satisfied  with  my  watch : 
it  only  wants  regulating.  In  Egypt  I  could  do 
nothing  with  it,  as  every  timepiece  there  seemed 
to  keep  different  time.  When  you  receive  my 
telegram  from  Suez  of  my  safe  return,  you  must 
telegraph  back  to  me  at  once.  It  is  blowing  so 
hard  again  that  I  cannot  write.  I  am  just  told 
that  the  Sheikh  is  coming. 

3.45  p.m. — At  half-past  four  o'clock  the  Sheikh  of 
the  Aluwm  came  in  with  Milne,  whom  he  had  fallen 
in  with  on  the  mountains,  and  wanted  to  know  what 
right  he  had  to  be  there  without  his  leave.  He  was 
dressed  in  all  the  colours  of  the  rainbow,  with  a  long 
curved  silver-handled  sword  by  his  side ;  and  Milne 
says  he  is  stuck  all  over  with  pistols  ;  but  I  do  not 
see  them  on  account  of  their  being  covered  by  his 
abba  (Arab  cloak).     He  was  accompanied  by  two 


other  Sheikhs  of  lower  rank.  I  had  gone  to  the 
door  of  the  tent  to  look  out,  and  so  came  upon 
him  there,  which  I  was  sorry  for.  He  said  €t  Good 
morning  "  in  English,  which  is  the  extent  of  his 
knowledge  of  the  language. 

Having  entered  the  tent  and  sat  down,  the  usual 
compliments  took  place.  Abu  Nabut  explained,  at 
my  request,  that  I  had  come  to  see  the  country  ; 
that  I  had  been  to  Ayoun  el  Kassab,  the  Madian, 
Ac.  I  then  gave  him  the  Khedive's  firman  and  Mr. 
Rogers's  letter.  The  former  he  opened,  and  the 
Muhafiz,  who  had  come  back  with  Milne,  and  was 
sitting  by  the  Sheikh,  read  the  contents,  or  at  least 
gave  him  some  idea  of  them.  He  listened,  but 
made  no  remark,  and  soon  afterwards  asked  for 
chukha  (tobacco).  Abu  Nabut  interpreted  this  to 
me,  but,  with  my  slight  knowledge  of  Arabic,  I  had 
already  understood,  and  I  asked  him  if  this  was 
decent  and  respectful  conduct  in  my  tent  ?  Abu 
Nabut  said  they  were  Beduins,  and  such  was  their 
custom ;  and  I  replied  that  it  was  a  bad  custom, 
and  ought  not  to  be  encouraged.  However,  I  gave 
him  a  packet  of  tobacco,  one  of  several  I  brought 
from  Cairo.  He  then  began  talking,  and  coffee 
was  brought,  of  which  he  drank  one  cupful, 
and  immediately  held  out  his   cup  for  a  second. 


These  manners  do  not  suit  me,  so  I  thought  it 
time  to  mount  the  high-horse,  and  I  therefore  said 
he  had  read  the  Khddive's  firman,  and  I  wished 
to  know  what  answer  he  had  to  give  to  it.  If  he 
was  ready  to  obey  it,  good  :  I  wished  to  start 
to-morrow  morning,  and  I  should  write  to  Nubar 
Pasha  to  that  effect.  If  not,  I  would  return  to 
Suez  on  board  the  *  Erin.'  He  replied  that  he 
would  study  the  contents  of  the  firman  and  let 
me  know.  But  I  said  this  would  not  do — I  must 
have  his  answer  directly. 

I  then  asked  Captain  Sciassar  to  thank  the  Haz 
Bashi  for  his  politeness  in  accompanying  Mr.  Milne, 
and  wished  to  know  his  name  in  order  that  I 
might  have  the  pleasure  of  mentioning  him  to  the 
Khedive.  It  is  Mohammed  Mahmud,  Muhafiz  of 
Akaba.  This  I  duly  noted  down.  While  I  was 
thus  engaged  the  Sheikh  wanted  to  speak  to  me, 
but  I  told  Abu  Nabut  he  must  wait,  as  I  was  en- 
gaged. When  I  had  done  with  the  Muhafiz,  he 
took  his  leave  with  Captain  Sciassar,  and  then  I 
sat  down  and  told  Abu  Nabut  I  was  ready  to  attend 
to  the  Sheikh.  The  latter  now  stood  up,  and,  with 
the  strongest  protestations  and  asseverations,  ex- 
pressed his  readiness  to  take  me  everywhere  I 
pleased  to  go,  to  supply  me  with  camels  and  horses 

2  B 



if  I  wanted  them,  and  to  place  himself  and  all  about 
him  at  my  disposal  I  said  I  was  satisfied,  and  it 
was  settled  that  we  are  to  start  to-morrow  morning 
early  ;  and  so  he  left. 

Now  as  regards  Milne's  explorations  of  the  day. 
He  tells  me  he  went  some  two  miles  up  Wady 
Ithem,  and  saw  no  "  three  low  peaks  "—nothing 
but  high  granite  mountains.  He  ascended  the 
winding  valley  to  a  height  of  900  feet,  and  then 
went  up  the  side  of  a  mountain  some  600  feet 
more,  but  could  see  nothing  before  him  but  lofty 
granite  mountains.  I  cannot  understand  how 
Dean  Stanley  could  have  been  so  mistaken.  I  am 
therefore  so  far  disappointed :  especially  as  I  shall 
have  to  travel  some  six  hours  before  I  get  to  the 
plain  described  by  Burckhardt — whose  veracity 
and  accurate  descriptions  are  unquestionable  — 
as  being  covered  with  "  flints,"  and  which  I  be- 
lieve to  be  the  Hama  Radjld.  Thus  nothing  has 
occurred  to  affect  my  views  generally.  I  can  only 
say  I  should  have  been  misled  by  Dean  Stanley's 

It  is  blowing  very  hard,  and  the  Captain  is 
obliged  to  get  up  his  steam  in  order  to  prevent 
the  ship  running  on  shore.  We  may  congratulate 
ourselves  on  being  out  of  it. 

(     3»7     ) 



January  30,  1874. — Yesterday  evening  I  made 
up  my  letters  and  gave  them  to  the  Captain  of  the 
*  Erin  *  at  half-past  five  o'clock,  but  the  weather 
was  so  bad  that  the  boat  could  not  come  off  from 
the  ship  to  take  him  on  board.  Milne  made  up  a 
box  of  stones  (geological  specimens)  we  have  col- 
lected for  the  Captain  to  take  to  Suez  and  leave  in 
charge  of  the  P.  and  0.  Company's  agent  there. 
At  8  p.m.  Abu  Nabut  came  to  me  for  more  money, 
saying  the  Arabs  were  "  eating  him  up ; "  so  I  gave 
him  five  pounds  more.  Then  I  went  out  to  look  at 
the  weather.  It  was  rather  calmer,  but  still  not 
sufficiently  so  for  the  Captain  to  go  on  board.  I 
found  the  sentry  again  at  my  tent  door,  with  four 
others  picketed ;  the  Sheikh's  spear  being  also  stuck 
in  the  ground  between  the  two  tents ;  so  that  if  we 
are  now  not  protected  enough  it  is  a  pity. 


The  Captain  took  tea  with  us,  and  told  me  the 
story  of  the  little  i  Erin/  She  was  built  in  1856 
for  Bazaine's  Company  at  Constantinople,  and  came 
over  to  Alexandria,  where  she  was  laid  up  for 
several  years  ;  till  one  day  M?Killop  Bey  was  in- 
duced to  buy  her  to  use  as  a  tug.  She  was,  how- 
ever, not  found  strong  enough  for  the  work,  so  a 
tank  was  put  in  her,  and  she  was  employed  to 
carry  water  to  the  ships ;  but  as  she  consumed  at 
least  one  ton  of  coals  for  every  ton  of  water,  this 
did  not  pay.  On  one  occasion  Sciassar,  who  was 
in  command  of  her,  took  water  to  a  Turkish  frigate, 
which  only  wanted  two  tons  at  two  shillings  =  4s. 
It  cost  £5  to  carry  this  on  board — namely,  one 
ton  and  a  half  of  coals  at  60s.,  with  oil,  &c,  for 
the  engine,  to  say  nothing  of  the  ship's  own 
expenses !  So  this  was  given  up  ;  and  Munzinger 
Bey  wanting  a  steamer  at  Massowah,  it  was  settled 
that  she  should  go  to  him,  when  I  came  in  the 
way.  But  she  is  unfit  for  Munzinger,  and  unfit 
to  have  brought  me  here,  as  her  bottom  is  per- 
fectly rotten  and  not  thicker  than  a  sheet  of 
paper.  When  painting  her,  the  brush  actually 
went  through  the  iron,  so  completely  is  it  rusted. 
It  is  quite  a  miracle  that  we  reached  Akaba  in  safety. 
Of  course  the  Khedive  knew  nothing  of  this,  or 


he  would  not   have  given  her  to  me;   but  the 
authorities  ought  to  have  known. 

It  will  be  high-wate*  here  to-day  at  about  4. 30 
a.m.,  so  Captain  Sciassar  reminds  me  that  I  shall 
want  to  note  this  for  my  calculations  this  day  week. 
I  was  up  this  morning  at  half-past  five,  and  ordered 
Abu  Nabut  to  begin  packing.  He  demurred,  and 
talked  about  this  being  the  first  day,  and  that 
we  could  not  do  much,  and  he  had  to  make  pur- 
chases, &c.  Whereupon  I  told  him  that  if  he  de- 
layed it  should  be  on  his  own  account. 

There  was  now  a  regular  row  between  Abu 
Nabut  and  the  Sheikh  of  the  Aluwin,  into  which 
the  former  wished  to  bring  me.  He  pretended  that 
I  was  to  pay  for  the  Sheikh's  escort,  and  also  for  the 
camels  which  he  insists  on  forcing  on  him.  Those 
that  Abu  Nabut  has  engaged  belong  to  the  Towdra 
tribe,  and  have  therefore  no  right  to  go  on  the 
ground  of  the  Aluwin.  I  think  Master  Abu  Nabut 
has  made  a  mull  of  it ;  but  that  is  no  affair  of 
mine.  I  blew  up  Abu  Nabut  furiously,  and  told 
him  I  would  report  him  when  I  got  back  to  Cairo. 
The  contract  is  that  he  is  to  pay  everything,  and 
I  hold  him  to  his  contract.  The  Captain  was 
fortunately  still  here,  and  he  spoke  seriously  to 
him,  telling  him  how  unreasonable  his  conduct  was, 


and  that  if  I  was  content  to  give  him  money  to 
pay  the  Beduins  with,  he  should  receive  it  under 
protest,  if  he  pleased,  and  then  refer  the  matter  to 
the  Consul  in  the  usual  way.  And  so  it  was  settled 
that  I  should  give  him  ten  pounds  more,  which  he 
handed  over  to  the  Sheikh — half  for  an  escort  at 
twelve  dollars  a  head,  as  agreed  with  the  Khedive, 
and  the  other  half  for  the  camels,  which  he  does 
not  furnish,  and  so  all  was  arranged  peaceably. 

Other  money  matters  had,  however,  to  be  agreed 
upon  by  Abu  Nabut,  causing  no  end  of  quarrelling 
and  noise.  Among  other  things,  the  Muhafiz  de- 
sired to  be  paid  for  the  guard  he  had  placed  over 
us.  If  we  had  gone  into  the  fort  as  be  offered,  there 
would  have  beeu  nothing  to  pay,  so  he  said ;  but 
as  we  chose  to  encamp  outside,  it  was  his  duty  to 
place  a  guard  over  us,  and  these  must  be  paid. 
Abu  Nabut  offered  ten  francs,  with  which  they 
were  not  satisfied  ;  but  at  length  it  was  taken,  the 
Captain  of  the  f  Erin '  saying  that  when  we  came 
back  to  Egypt  it  should  be  seen  into. 

At  length  the  camels  were  loaded,  and  we  were 
off  at  8.15  A.M.  Captain  Sciassar  remained  to  see 
us  start.  He  was  exceedingly  kind,  and  has  been 
very  useful.  I  hope  the  letters  I  have  written 
about  him  will  be  of  service  to  him,  for  he  is  a  very 


good  fellow.  I  must  mention  that  before  we  started 
the  Sheikh  gave  the  Muhafiz  a  receipt  under  his 
seal  for  the  bodies  of  me  and  "  my  son,"  whom  he 
binds  himself  to  restore  to  the  Muhafiz  safe  and 
sound,  barring  any  visitation  of  God.  I  mounted  to 
my  takhterawdn  by  means  of  a  ladder,  which  Abu 
Nabut  had  made  and  brought  on  for  the  purpose ; 
and  really  I  find  my  travelling  carriage  not  at  all  un- 
comfortable. There  is  absolutely  no  fatigue,  and  the 
shaking  is  insignificant  at  the  slow  rate  of  travel- 
ling of  the  camels :  no  doubt  I  should  be  a  good 
deal  shaken  if  they  went  fast.  I  shall  not  trouble 
you  here  with  the  details  of  the  journey,  which  are 
duly  consigned  to  my  route-book.  All  I  need  say  is, 
that  we  went  along  at  the  head  of  the  Gulf  of  Akaba, 
and  up  Wady  Ithem,  in  a  north-easterly  direction 
generally.  Our  escort  consisted  of  the  great  Sheikh 
of  the  Aluwin  and  two  other  Arabs  mounted  on 
horses,  and  there  was  a  Beduin  on  a  camel  who 
carried  the  great  man's  spear :  we  form  quite  an 
imposing  caravan  altogether;  and  there  was  the 
little  daughter  of  one  of  the  tribe,  who  ran  along, 
followed  by  three  young  goats  almost  as  big  aa 
herself.  I  busied  myself  in  making  notes,  and 
Milne  on  the  back  of  his  camel  amused  himself 
reading  Macaulay's  "  Biographical  Essays/'  On  our 


road  we  met  some  Arabs,  who  went  up  to  the 
Sheikh  and  shook  hands  with  him,  and  then 
kissed  their  own  hands.  He,  like  our  own  great 
people,  held  out  his  hand  to  be  shaken  or  kissed. 

At  about  2  p.m.  we  passed  Jebel  B&ghir,  which  we 
had  seen  from  Akaba.  This  is  a  most  important  sub- 
ject, as  I  shall  have  to  tell  you  by  and  by.  Soon  after- 
wards the  Sheikh  stopped  at  a  place  where  he  wished 
us  to  encamp ;  but  I,  who  have  made  up  my  mind 
that  he  shall  obey  me,  and  not  I  him,  said  I  pre- 
ferred going  on,  to  which  he  assented.  But  I  had 
for  some  time  past  during  the  journey  been  thinking 
that  my  going  farther  nortA-eastward  along  Wady 
I  them  would  be  to  no  purpose,  as  it  would  only 
lead  me  out  of  my  road.  If  "  Mount  Sinai "  was  a 
li  volcano  "  seen  by  the  Israelites  on  their  way  from 
Succoth  [Kellaat-el-Nakhl],  it  would  be  to  the  east, 
or  somewhat  to  the  southward  of  east ;  and,  therefore, 
every  step  I  was  taking  to  the  north  must  of  necessity 
be  out  of  the  way.  I  therefore  seriously  thought  of 
not  going  further,  but  of  retracing  my  steps  and 
proceeding  up  Wady  Am  ran,  a  branch  wady  of 
Wady  el  I  them,  running  to  the  east  or  southward 
of  east.  Therefore,  after  I  had  gone  a  short  dis- 
tance further  than  where  Sheikh  Mohammed  had 
thought  of  stopping,  I  decided  on  halting  at  a  spot 


behind  a  mountain  screened  from  the  wind,  which 
his  was  not,  as  he  and  every  one  else  admitted. 
So  far  all  was  right. 

On  the  road  the  Sheikh  and  I  had  kept  apart, 
each  standing  on  his  dignity;  but  shortly  before 
we  stopped  he  passed  me  and  saluted  me,  and  I 
returned  his  salute,  and  since  then  we  have  been 
bosom  friends !  And  one  of  the  results  of  our  alli- 
ance is,  that  he  has  been  telling  me  the  story  of 
Jebel  Bdghir,  which,  he  says,  is  a  holy  mountain ; 
on  the  summit  of  which  is  the  tomb  of  a  wely  or 
saint,  and  at  the  foot  of  it  is  a  mosque ;  and  every 
time  the  Hadj  returns  from  Mecca  to  Cairo,  sounds 
are  heard  in  the  mountain  like  the  firing  of  a  can- 
non. This,  he  solemnly  assures  me,  he  has  himself 
heard  with  his  own  ears,  and,  he  says,  he  is  pre- 
pared to  bring  me  ten,  or  even  twenty  persons,  who 
have  likewise  heard  it.  Our  servant,  Hashim,  tells 
me  he  heard  the  same  story  from  several  persons 
at  Akaba  t 

I  am  writing  now  at  8.30  p.m.,  and  Milne  and  I 
have  just  heard  thunder,  or  something  which,  he  says, 
must  surely  come  from  Jebel  Bdgbir  I  Well,  this 
mountain  turns  out,  in  fact,  to  be  the  "  Jebel-e'- 
Nur,"  which,  you  will  recollect,  I  heard  of  at  Cairo ; 
and  the  long  and  the  short  of  it  is,  that  to-morrow 


Milne  is  going  up  it,  accompanied  by  Hashim  and 
a  couple  of  Beduins.  It  is  very  steep  and  very 
high  ;  and  from  its  summit  are  seen  the  pseudo- 
Mount  Sinai,  that  is  to  say,  "  Mount  Tor,"  on  the  one 
hand,  and  "  Mount  Hor,"  near  Petra,  on  the  other ; 
and  if  any  volcanoes  are  to  be  seen,  they  will  be 
visible  also  from  this  mountain.  Milne  and  Hashim 
are  to  have  horses  to  the  foot  of  the  steepest  part, 
which  latter  they  must  ascend  on  foot.  Abu  Nabut 
tells  Mr.  Milne  he  must  take  with  him  a  telegraph — 
or,  correcting  himself,  a  photograph — meaning  a 
telescope!  The  fellow  made  me  laugh  till  I  was 
almost  ill,  and  I  cannot  refrain  from  laughing  whilst 
I  am  writing  about  it. 

It  has  now  begun  to  rain  heavily,  and  a  Beduin 
is  at  work  making  a  trench  round  our  tent.  Milne 
remarked  that  the  only  use  he  has  found  for  the 
umbrella  he  bought  to  protect  him  from  the  burn- 
ing sun  is  to  keep  off  the  rain.  It  is  thundering 
heavily,  accompanied  by  lightning.1  This  is  the 
sound  from  Jebel-e'-Nur,  which,  even  if  I  should 
be  disappointed  in  finding  a  volcano,  will  prove  a 
rival  "  Mount  Sinai."  Abu  Nabut  tells  the  people 
that  I  am  sent  here  by  the  Khddive,  the  Queen  of 
England,  the  Emperor  of  Russia,  and  all  the  other 

1  Exod.  xix.  9-16. 


great  people,  to  find  out  the  '  true  Mount  Sinai/ 
and  that  then  all  the  Khawdjas  will  visit  it,  instead 
of  the  traditional  Mount  Sinai  within  the  Peninsula 
of  Tor,  or  Pharan,  as  I  prefer  to  call  it.  There  is 
nothing  like  it,  except  the  storm  that  is  now  raging 
in  these  mountains ! 

January  3 1 . — It  was  really  a  terrific  storm  last 
night,  the  rain  coming  down  in  torrents,  and  the 
lightning  and  thunder  were  frightful,  some  of  the 
claps  being  right  over  our  heads.  This  storm  is 
almost  like  a  judgment  upon  me,  who  feel  like 
Balaam,  the  son  of  Beor.1  If  this  is  really  the  true 
Mount  Sinai,  it  is  as  little  a  '  volcano '  as  the  tradi- 
tional one  is,  or  else  geology  is  all  at  fault.  The 
same  arguments  that  Sir  George  Airy  uses  to 
prove  that  the  traditional  mountain  was  volcanic, 
will,  however,  apply  to  this  mountain  also,  for  the 
geological  formation  of  both  appears  to  be  the  same. 
On  this  point  I  hope  to  be  satisfied  during  the  day; 
for  this  morning  my  companion  Mr.  Milne  is  off  up 
the  mountain,  accompanied  by  Hashim  and  a  Be- 
duin  on  horseback,  with  others  on  foot.  Before  he 
started,  and  as  soon  as  we  had  breakfasted,  we  got 
out  the  Royal  Geographical  Society's  azimuth  com- 
pass, aneroid,  and  thermometer,  and  after  having 

1  Numb,  xxiii.  1 1. 


compared  the  aueroid  with  the  one  Milne  lias,  he  took 
with  him  mine,  and  left  me  his  own  to  compare 
during  the  day ;  and  at  8. 1 5  a  .m.  off  he  started. 

The  sky  is  still  overcast,  and,  unless  it  improves, 
I  fear  he  will  not  do  much  good ;  but  it  is  better 
he  should  get  near  the  summit)  and  there  await  his 
opportunity.  I  envy  him  his  trip  more  than  I  can 
tell  you ;  but  I  feel  my  utter  incompetency  to  un- 
dertake the  ascent,  and  therefore  I  am  resigned. 

Sheikh  Mohammed  tells  me  that  he  has  heard 
from  his  father,  who  was  ninety  years  old,  and  who 
heard  it  from  his  father,  that  in  former  times  sig- 
nals were  made  from  the  three  mountains,  Jebel 
Tor,  Jebel-e'-Nur,  and  Jebel  H&rfin  (Mount  Hor, 
near  Petra),  by  fires  lighted  during  the  night  The 
view  from  the  summit  of  Jebel-e'-Nur  (Mount  Brig- 
hir)  is  most  extensive,  and  Milne,  with  his  azimuth 
compass,  will  take  the  bearings  of  all  places  visible 
from  it.  He  will,  in  particular,  be  able  to  see 
whether  there  are  any  volcanoes  within  sight:  if 
not,  I  shall  most  certainly  not  go  to  look  for  any, 
as  in  that  case  they  would  be  too  far  off  for 
the  position  I  attribute  to  Mount  Sinai.  I  have 
enough  in  this  Jebel-e'-Nur.  I  spell  the  name 
with  our  English  €  J '  instead  of  the  German  '  Dj  : ' 
and    I  shall  write   e'   Nur,   instead   of  en  Nilr, 


which  is  the  usual,  but,  I  think,  needless  way 
of  representing  el  Nur,— the  proper  Arabic  spell- 
ing being  Jebel-el-Nur.  You  know  the  Koh-i- 
nur  is  spelt  with  "i,"  the  meaning  of  the  name 
being  "  Mountain  of  Light "  in  Persian,  as  Jebel-e'- 
Nur  is  in  Arabic.  Do  you  not  think,  dearest  Milly, 
that  I  have  been  highly  favoured  ? — for,  should  I  not 
succeed  in  finding  a  volcano,  I  shall,  at  all  events, 
have  found  a  "  Mount  Sinai "  precisely  where  I 
have  said  for  so  many  years  that  it  ought  to  be 
found.  I  expect  that  the  summit  of  this  "  Moun- 
tain 0/ Light"  will  have  been  visible  to  the  Israelites 
on  their  march  all  the  way  from  Kellaat-el-Nakhl, 
where  I  place  Succoth,  and  through  which  place  I 
shall  have  to  go  on  my  return  to  Suez.1 

The  reason  why  Abu  Nabut  has  joined  the 
Emperor  of  Bussia  with  the  Queen  of  England  as 
being  interested  in  my  researches  is,  that  when 
at  Akaba  I  was  telling  him  of  the  marriage  of  the 
Duke  of  Edinburgh  with  the  Grand-Duchess  Maria, 
and  of  the  alliance  between  these  two  great  nations. 
He  is  a  man  of  vivid  imagination,  like  our  old 
dragoman,  Mikhail  Hene,  hence  his  mistake.  But 
after  all,  you  see  he  was  right  about  Jebel-e'-Nur  at 

1  On  his  way  from  Akaba  to  Suez,  Dr.  Beke  mention*  the  exten- 
sive view  of  the  summit  of  Mount  Baghir  and  the  head  of  the  Gulf 
of  Akaba  "  from  Has  el  Satkh."    See  page  455, 


Cairo,  only  when  pressed  for  explanations  he  could 
not  give  them.  I  am  now  writing  in  my  tent 
alone,  very  happy,  but  very  cold  ;  however  the  sun 
is  brightening,  and  I  trust  it  will  turn  out  fine 
after  all.  The  scene  from  my  tent  door  is  very 
grand  and  imposing,  but  still  solemn  and  peaceful 
withal.  The  little  Arab  girl  who  came  with  us  ia 
sitting  up  on  the  side  of  the  mountain  in  front  of 
my  tent  door,  looking  after  her  goats,  which  are 
browsing  near  her. 

During  the  past  night  Abu  Nabut  had  his  tent 
full  of  Arabs,  who  all  came  swarming  in  out  of  the 
rain.  It  ran  through  our  tent,  and  the  trench  out- 
side had  to  be  deepened  round  it.  You  know  all 
about  this  from  your  experience  in  Syria  and 
Abyssinia,  and  will  understand  the  discomfort  and 
the  difficulty  we  have  in  keeping  the  water  from 
flooding  the  inside  of  our  tent  My  man  has  been 
for  some  more  tobacco  for  Sheikh  Mohammed.  He 
is  now  so  amiable  and  obliging  that  the  least  I 
could  do  was  to  send  him  a  small  packet.  He  came 
to  my  tent  door  this  morning  to  wish  me  '  good 
night ' — his  English  extending  only  to  '  good  morn- 
ing '  and  '  good  night/  which  he  does  not  always 
apply  properly — like  Abu  Nabut  with  his  '  tele- 
graph '  and  '  photograph.'     Milne  did  not  forget  to 


take  his  'telegraph'  with  him,  as   the  poor  old 
fellow  calls  it. 

With  this  and  his  other  instruments,  and  his 
hammer  and  his  drawing-block,  box  of  paints,  and 
my  brandy  flask,  &c,  he  was  pretty  well  loaded 
for  such  an  ascent.  But  he  is  a  famous  fellow 
when  there  is  work  in  hand,  and  turns  to  it 
like  a  man.  He  is  really  a  very  clever  young  man, 
and  invaluable  to  me  on  this  journey,  and  I  am 
anxious  to  give  him  full  credit  for  all  he  does.  He 
feels  that  he  is  working  for  himself  not  less  than 
for  me,  and  in  a  good  cause.  I  hope  and  trust  it 
may  bring  us  both  good  ;  but  I  am  more  thanffty 
years  older  than  he  is,  and  my  life  is  now  almost 
spent.  I  gave  Milne  my  pocket-flask  filled  with 
whisky,  as  he  may  want  it,  for  he  will  find  it 
dreadfully  cold  up  there  :  in  this  respect  I  do  not 
envy  him  his  trip.  How  thankful  I  am  to  have 
some  one  so  competent  to  do  my  work  for  me. 
But  there  is  still  a  great  deal  of  work  to  do,  and 
here  I  must  positively  remain  till  I  shall  have  been 
able  to  make  proper  observations ;  and  although 
the  glass  is  rising  and  it  promises  to  be  fair,  I  fear 
that  Milne  will  not  have  been  able  to  do  anything  (or 
little)  to-day,  on  account  of  its  being  so  overcast 
I  must  give  a  full  account  of  '  my  Mount  Sinai.' 


Abu  Nabut  has  a  regular  poultry-yard  round  the 
door  of  his  tent — he  having  let  his  fowls,  some 
fifteen  or  sixteen,  and  a  turkey,  out  of  their  coop  : 
I  will  do  him  the  justice  to  say  that  he  feeds  us 
well,  infinitely  better  than  Mikhail  did  when  we 
were  in  the  Holy  Land.  We  have  always  soup, 
boiled  and  roast,  sweets  and  dessert ! !  Only  think 
of  that  in  the  Desert  It  is  almost  as  good  as  you 
and  I  had  in  Abyssinia  at  the  foot  of  the  Slmmfaito 
Mountain,  when  going  up  the  Taranta  Pass  to  HalaL 
I  allude  to  the  (tinned)  rump-steak,  with  oyster- 
sauce,  and  plum-pudding,  the  latter  made  by  our 
old  cook,  and  carried  all  that  distance  from  home. 

I  am  sorry  to  see  the  '  glass '  going  back  a  little ; 
by  this  I  mean  the  aneroid,  which  acts  as  a  baro- 
meter. I  see  that  the  Sheikh's  spear  is  laid  on  the 
ground  at  the  back  of  my  tent,  in  the  opposite 
direction  to  the  other  tent  in  which  he  himself 
is  :  this  serves  as  a  safeguard  to  me  on  both  sides ! 
I  am  getting  very  anxious  to  know  what  Milne  has 
done.  Abu  Nabut  has  just  been  to  inquire  how 
many  hours  he  has  been  away.  I  fear  he  will  have 
done  but  little  good  to-day,  and  if  so,  we  shall  have 
to  remain  here.  It  cannot  be  helped  :  it  is  a  neces- 
sary part  of  my  mission.  As  it  is,  I  am  quite  satis- 
fied.    I  have  found  my  '  Mount  Sinai,'  which  turns 



out  not  to  be  a  volcano,  or  at  least  cannot  be 
proved  to  have  been  one ;  but  at  the  same  time 
cannot  be  proved  not  to  have  been  one.  This  will 
surely  please  both  parties,  I  hope  [or  perhaps  no 
one  at  all] :  the  anti-traditionists,  who  will  have 
seen  a  deathblow  given  to  the  traditional  Mount 
Sinai ;  and  the  traditionists,  who  do-  not  like  the 
Scripture  History  to  be  deprived  of  its  miraculous 
character.  However,  I  have  still  to  hear  from  Mr. 
Milne  whether  there  are  any  volcanoes  to  be  seen 
from  the  summit.  I  only  desire  to  ascertain  the 
truth.  The  prayer  that  the  Hadjis  say  when  they 
come  in  sight  of  this  mountain  is  the  fdtha,  or  first 
chapter  of  the  Koran — "  Bismillah  er  rakhman  er 
rakheem,  Alhumdul-illah,"  &c. 

1  p.m. — I  am  sorry  to  say  it  has  just  begun  rain- 
ing again.  A  Sheikh  of  this  neighbourhood  has 
come  into  the  camp,  who  tells  me  that  Mount 
B&ghir  has  always  been  known  as  the  "Mountain 
of  Light."  At  the  foot  of  it  is  the  mosque  or 
praying-place  of  Ali  ibn  'Elem,  a  famous  saint  from 
Jaffa *  or  its  neighbourhood,  who  (so  Abu  Nabut 
says)  has  a  large  mosque  there ;  and  at  the  very 
summit  of  tl 
rounded  wit! 

1  In  Chapter  i 


(and  bones  ?)  of  sheep  and  goats  sacrificed  there. 
If  such  be  the  case,  Milne  will  have  something  to 
say  on  the  subject. 

As  I  was  noting  the  saint's  name  down  in  my 
pocket  -  book,  Sheikh  Mohammed  looked  with 
curiosity  at  the  '  style '  with  which  I  was  writing, 
as  being  something  unusual ;  so  I  took  a  bit  of 
paper  out  of  my  pocket,  and  wrote  on  it  with  the 
style,  but  of  course  without  making  any  mark ;  I 
then  wrote  on  the  prepared  paper  in  the  book,  and 
likewise,  of  course,  made  marks.  This  astonished 
him  and  the  bystanders  vastly ;  but  they  were  still 
more  astonished  and  amused  when  I  took  one  of 
Bryant  &  May's  safety  matches  and  rubbed  it  on 
the  box  on  all  sides  without  its  lighting,  till  I 
touched  the  black  side,  when  it  at  once  blazed  up. 
This,  said  Sheikh  Mohammed,  was  like  myself :  I 
looked  around  me  at  the  mountains  on  every  side 
till  I  came  to  the  right  *  Mountain  of  Light ! ' 
What  think  you  of  that  for  a  figure  ? 

This  Mountain  of  Light  is  undoubtedly  a  great 
discovery.  And  yet,  can  it  be  that  it  has  never  been 
known  before  ?  It  is  astonishing  to  me,  and  yet  we 
see  such  strange  things  to  be  every  day.  I  wonder 
what  Milne  is  about  ?  It  is  now  more  than  2. 1 5, 
so  that  he  has  been  away  fully  six  hours.     At  half- 

"  jebel-e'-nCB  (THE  M 


past  two  I  went  down  to  the  watercourse  in  the 
'plain'  to  get  a  view  of  the  mountain,  of  which  I 
have  made  a  rough  sketch,  which  will  serve  if 
Milne  .does  not  make  a  proper  drawing  of  it ;  but 
he  must  do  so,  as  it  will  make  a  beautiful  picture, 
and  a  most  impressive  one  too,  for  the  view  is  a 
really  magnificent  one.  Mount  Sinai  (Jebel  Bdghir) 
would  have  been  visible  to  thousands  or  hundreds 
of  thousands  of  people  encamped  in  the  « plain '  here 

It  is  beginning  to  rain  again,  and  I  am  really 
getting  anxious  about  Milne  and  his  party ;  I 
wish  they  were  back.  Anticipating  that  he  would 
return  very  cold  and  tired,  I  ordered  the  soup  to 
be  got  ready  for  him  on  his  arrival.  It  was  not, 
however,  till  4.25  p.m.,  that  he  came  in,  very  cold, 
but  none  the  worse  for  a  most  interesting  excur- 
sion. Abu  Nabut  having  understood  that  I  wanted 
the  whole  dinner  to  be  got  ready,  it  was  at  once 
served,  and  Milne  proceeded  to  pour  into  my  eager 
and  impatient  ears  the  particulars  and  adventures 
of  the  day.  He  went  to  the  very  summit,  and 
found  the  horns  and  heads  of  the  animals  slaugh- 
tered there,  just  as  I  had  been  told.  It  was  so 
cloudy  that  he  could  not  see  very  much,  but  he 
was  able  to  distinguish  a  large  c  plain*  to  the  north- 


east  of  this,  into  which,  in  fact,  this  valley  opens. 
The  view  in  this  direction  is  shut  out  by  a  very 
lofty  mountain  on  the  other  side  of  Wady  Ithem. 

On  inquiring  of  Sheikh  Mohammed  the  name  of 
that  mountain,  he  told  me  it  is  Eretrfwa  (or 
Ert<5wa),  and  Abu  Nabut  says  that  when  people 
have  been  travelling  two  days  or  more  without 
water,  and  then  find  it  and  drink  it,  they  say 
"  Eretdwa."  What  this  means  literally  I  cannot 
pretend  to  say,  but  I  think  that  we  have  here  the 
Bephidim  of  Scripture,1  and  this  mountain  is 
Horeb.*  The  Great  Plain  beyond  the  two  moun- 
tains will  be  the  encamping  ground  of  the  Israelites 
before  Sinai.* 

It  is  clear  therefore  to  me,  that  it  is  my  duty  to 
go  up  into  the  plain,  which  is  only  six  hours  from 
hence.  We  shall  then  return  on  the  following  day, 
and  passing  the  spot  where  we  are  now  encamped, 
shall  go  down  as  far  as  the  junction  of  Wady  Am- 
ran,  where  we  shall  stop;  and  on  the  following 
day  we  shall  proceed  to  the  opposite  (west)  side  of 
the  Arabah,  at  the  head  of  the  Gulf  of  Akaba, 
without  returning  to  Akaba  itself,  where  we  have 
no  need  to  go.  Thence  I  would  hope  to  proceed 
on  our  homeward  journey. 

1  Exod.  xvii  1-3.  2  Exod.  xvii.  5-7.         s  Exod.  xix.  2. 


This  plain  beyond  "  Sinai n  and  "  Horeb "  ex- 
plains most  satisfactorily  the  journey  of  the 
Israelites  from  Elim.  They  went  down  on  the 
west  side  of  the  continuation  of  the  range  of  moun- 
tains on  which  we  now  are,  and  returned  on  the 
eastern.  This  plain  we  are  going  to  see  would  hold 
millions,  Milne  says. 

He  has  brought  me  a  fine  piece  of  quartz  from 
the  very  summit  of  Sinai,  which  I  have  put 
by  for  you  :  It  is  the  same  kind  of  stone  as 
the  Brazilian  pebbles,  of  which  they  make  the 
best  spectacles.  He  is  very  busy  with  his  speci- 
mens and  notes,  and  has  not  time  yet  to  tell  me 
further  particulars ;  as  it  is  of  the  first  importance 
that  he  should  place  what  he  has  done  in  order. 
He  fell  in  with  some  Beduins  up  the  mountain, 
who,  thinking  the  Sheikh  had  come,  killed  a  sheep 
in  his  honour,  of  which  Milne  had  to  partake,  and 
as  the  Sheikh  was  not  there,  they  smeared  his 
horse  with  the  blood  in  order  to  let  him  know 
what  they  had  done  for  him.  Altogether  Milne  is 
in  high  spirits  at  his  trip,  and  with  reason.  He 
has  found  and  copied  some  "  Sinaitic  Inscriptions  " 
of  our  own.  He  tells  me  that  the  Gulf  of  Akaba, 
though  at  least  eight  miles  off  in  a  direct  line, 
seems  as  if  one  could  drop  a  plumb-line  into  it,  so 


close  and  straight  down  below  it  seems.     On  a 
rough  estimate  he  was  5000  feet  high  1 

But  I  will  now  relate  the  particulars  of  the 
ascent  of  Mount  Sinai  (Mount  B&ghir),  in  Mr. 
Milne's  own  words  : — 

"  At  8  A.M.,  although  it  was  cloudy  and  thun- 
dering, I  mounted  the  Sheikh's  horse,  which  he 
lent  me,  and  with  five  others,  two  mounted  (Ha- 
shim  and  the  Sheikh's  son),  and  three  Arabs  on 
foot,  started  for  the  summit  of  Mount  Bighir. 
(The  Sheikh  said  '  Good  night/)  Our  way  was, 
for  a  mile,  up  a  narrow  wady,  which  grew  narrower 
and  narrower  until  it  became  a  gorge.  On  the 
way  we  passed  a  stone  on  which  were  cut  the 
words, '  Ya  Allah  1 '  Something  else  had  been  written, 
but  it  was  defaced,  in  Cufic,  or  old  Arabic  charac- 
ters. In  the  gorge  we  stopped  to  admire  a  large 
stone  near  which  the  Beduins  come  and  say  their 
prayers.  This  stone  where  the  Arabs  pray  is  about 
five  feet  long  and  two  feet  square,  and  is  made  of 
granite.  It  originally  stood  upright  on  the  ground, 
about  two  or  three  feet  away  from  the  side  of  the 
gorge.  It  is  now  fallen  over,  and  rests  between 
its  pedestal  and  the  side  of  the  gorge.  The  '  pe- 
destal '  is  merely  another  stone  on  which  it  appears 
to  have  stood. 


"At  the  gorge  we  had  to  leave  the  horses  with 
two  of  the  Arabs,  and  going  up  a  steep  ascent  to 
the  left,  we  came  to  a  low  wall  across  the  gorge, 
which  was  filled  with  large  boulders  ;  and  close 
above  the  wall  on  the  right-hand  side  is  a  well 
about  three  feet  across,  and  about  the  same  to  the 
water  in  it,  which  may  be  two  feet  of  water.1  By 
it  are  two  nebbuk  trees,  one  of  which  overhangs 
and  shades  it,  and  one  stunted  palm.  The  well 
and  gorge  lie  in  the  line  of  a  dyke  of  greenstone, 
which  goes  far  up  the  mountain,  and  most  probably 
reaches  the  summit,  only  it  cannot  be  traced  for 
the  dibris  covering  it.  Vegetation  may  here  be  said 
to  cease,  for,  with  the  exception  of  a  few  stunted 
plants  and  bushes,  nothing  seems  to  live. 

"  Our  ascent  was  now  a  climb,  the  rock  in  places 
being  nearly  perpendicular.  On  reaching  the  sum- 
mit of  the  mountain,  we  found  numerous  skulls  and 
horns,  and  a  few  bones  of  animals — it  being  the 
custom  of  the  Beduins  to  come  up  here  to  pray, 
bringing  with  them  a  lamb,  which  they  kill  and  eat 
on  the  spot.  Round  about  were  a  number  of  low 
walls,  more  or  less  rounded  in  form,  evidently  built 
to  keep  the  wind  off.  On  the  ridge  on  the  left- 
hand  side  of  the  gorge,  about  a  hundred  and  fifty 

1  Excxl.  xvii.  6. 


yards  distant  from  the  well,  we  came  to  a  pile  of  large 

rounded  boulders  of  granite,  on  several  of  which 


were  inscriptions,1  which  I  copied  as  well  as  my  cold 
fingers  would  allow  me  to  do.  The  stones,  which 
were  much  weathered,  were  externally  of  a  dark- 
brown  colour,  against  which  the  inscriptions  stood 
out  and  made  themselves  visible  from  their  being 
of  a  somewhat  lighter  colour.  Before  reaching  the 
summit  we  found  snow  in  the  crevices,  and,  for  the 
sake  of  saying  I  did  it,  I  snowballed  Hashim,  who 
joined  <  warmly '  in  the  sport  Whilst  we  were  at 
the  top  it  hailed  and  snowed,  and  was  bitterly 
cold,  and  it  was  as  much  as  I  could  do  to  take  a 
few  angles  with  the  azimuth  compass.  My  com- 
panions  made  a  fire,  and  it  was  only  by  continually 
warming  my  fingers  that  I  could  do  anything. 
Akaba  seemed  just  below  my  feet,  but  on  so  dimi- 
nutive a  scale,  that  I  failed  to  detect  the  castle 
among  the  palm-trees,  the  general  outline  of  which 
alone  was  visible ;  the  landscape  in  other  directions 
was  almost  blocked  out  by  banks  of  cloud,  rain, 
and  fog. 

"Coming  back-which  was  on  the  opposite  side 
of  the  mountain  (which  is  about  5000  feet  high), 
and  far  easier  than  the  ascent — we  reached  a  valley, 

1  For  illustration  see  p.  422. 


where  we  fell  in  with  some  Beduins,  who  think- 
ing it  was  the  Sheikh  who  was  coming,  had  killed 
and  cooked  a  lamb,  which  was  ready  for  his  re- 
ception, and  of  which  I  had  to  partake.  It  was 
a  filthy,  dirty  mess,  quite  tough  and  scarcely  fit 
to  eat ;  but  I  was  afraid  I  should  offend  them  if  I 
refused.  It  is  the  custom  whenever  a  Sheikh 
comes  to  give  him  mutton  and  milk.  As  it  was 
not  the  Sheikh,  but  only  the  Sheikh's  horse,  they 
daubed  the  animal's  back,  just  behind  the  saddle, 
with  stripes  of  blood,  to  show  the  Sheikh,  when  he 
got  his  horse,  what  they  had  done  for  him. 

"  We  went  into  one  of  the  miserable  tents  to  par- 
take of  their  feast,  and  squatted  down  in  front  of 
a  small  fire,  and  got  nearly  smothered  with  the 
smoke.  It  was  so  low  that  one  can  only  crouch 
down  in  it  It  consists  of  a  black  cloth  made  out 
of  goats'  hair  by  the  women,  and  is  supported  by 
six  or  seven  sticks,  with  a  rope  along  thorn,  the 
cloth  being  pegged  with  small  wooden  skewer* 
over  the  rope.  It  is  a  loose,  slack,  com  forties 
affair,  open  on  one  side,  and  on  the  others  protected 
with  heaps  of  bushes.  A  bit  of  cloth  hanging 
down  the  middle  divided  us  from  the  women,  chil- 
dren, and  goats,  which  are  all  mixed  up  together. 
Several  of  the  children  were  almost  naked,  having 


merely  a  bit  of  cloth  thrown  over  their  shoulders. 
I  never  saw  such  a  picture  of  dirt,  misery,  and 
want.     Their  all  would  seem  to  consist  of  a  few 


dirty  rags,  a  bit  of  cloth  for  a  tent,  and  a  cracked 
wooden  bowl  in  which  they  served  their  meat, 
which  of  course  we  had  to  tear  in  pieces  and  eat 
with  our  fingers.  Eight  hours  after  starting  I 
arrived  at  our  tents  tired  and  cold. 

"  Mount  Bdghir  is  one  of  the  loftiest  peaks  of 
the  range  of  mountains  on  the  east  side  of  Wady 
Arabah  and  the  west  side  of  Wady  Ithem,  over- 
hanging the  latter.  It  consists  of  a  mass  of  red  to 
pink  granite,  which  in  places  where  it  is  weathered 
has  assumed  a  dark  brown  hue.  Where  it  is  dis- 
integrated the  felspar  and  lighter  mica  have  to  a 
great  extent  been  washed  away,  leaving  a  rough 
gravelly  surface  of  quartz,  which  is  of  course  only 
superficial,  crushing  under  one's  feet  as  one  walks 
along.  This  granite  contains  but  little  mica  as 
compared  with  other  granites,  and  there  are  places 
where  the  rock  consists  of  quartz  and  massive  fel- 
spar alone,  no  mica  being  visible. 

"  On  the  north-west  side  of  the  mountain  a  por- 
tion of  the  granite  looks,  at  a  distance,  like  a  brownish 
yellow  coarse  sandstone,  weathering  with  rounded 
surfaces.     In  this,  numbers  of  cavities  can  be  seen, 


generally  ranging  in  size  from  a  cocoa-nut  to  a 
man's  head.  On  striking  the  rock  with  the  ham- 
mer, it  has  not  the  usual  clear  ring  of  a  solid  rock, 
but  gives  a  dull  sound,  owing  to  the  surface  being 
disintegrated,  and  tending  to  split  off  in  flakes, 
which  can  be  easily  separated  with  the  sharp  edge 
of  the  hammer. 

"  On  the  same  side  of  the  mountain  are  many  large 
boulders  the  size  of  a  house.  Several  of  them  are 
so  much  disintegrated  on  their  under  sides  as  to  form 
small  caverns.  One  in  which  I  entered  was  as  much 
as  about  twenty  feet  across  each  way,  and  ten  or 
twelve  feet  high  at  the  entrance,  sloping  down  to- 
wards the  back,  the  roof  being  dome-shaped  and  the 
sides  curved — the  absence  of  angular  forms  showing 
the  granite  to  have  flaked  off  in  curved  laminae.  The 
peaks  on  the  summit  of  the  mountain  are  composed 
of  granite,  the  hollows  between  tbem  marking  the 
position  and  direction  in  which  the  mass  is  traversed 
by  dykes.  And  it  may  be  stated  as  a  general  rule  for 
this  mountain,  that  the  dykes  do  not  protrude  above 
the  granite,  but  all  tend  to  produce  hollows.  As  an 
exception  to  this  is  the  dyke  on  the  north-east  side 
of  the  mountain  near  the  well,  which  forms  a  ridge 
running  up  the  side  of  the  mountain.  These  dykes 
are  generally  of  a  dark  green  colour,  and  very  soft ; 


in  places  so  much  so,  that,  tinder  the  hammer,  they 
crumble  off  like  a  hard  clay.  Where  one  of  these 
dykes  is  exposed  as  a  hard  mass,  it  appears  to  be 
dioretic  They  are  of  all  sizes,  varying  from  a  foot 
up  to  eighteen  feet;  and  perhaps  more :  the  run  of 
them  being  four  or  five  feet  They  are  numerous, 
but  not  so  much  so  as  on  the  mountain  towards  the 
north,  looked  down  upon  from  the  summit,  where 
innumerable  dykes  are  to  be  seen  streaking  in  paral- 
lel lines  the  entire  ridged  surface  of  the  mountain." 

Bdghir  and  ErUowa  ('  Sinai  •  and  c  Horeb ')  are, 
I  now  fancy,  two  of  Stanley's  c  three  low  peaks. ' 
We  shall  be  able  to  decide  this  when  we  get  down 
into  the  Arabah. 

February  i. — This  morning  before  starting  we 
made  preparations  for  taking  the  elevation  of  this 
place  by  Captain  George's  mountain  barometer, 
and  also  by  boiling-point  thermometers.  We  there- 
fore had  the  tent  cleared  after  breakfast,  spread  a 
sheet  on  the  ground  to  catch  the  mercury  spilt,  and 
opened  the  case,  when,  to  our  great  annoyance,  we 
found  the  tube  for  the  mercury  broken  in  half.  I 
had  been  careful  in  not  having  the  instruments  un- 
done before  we  wanted  them  for  use.  Here,  where 
we  really  wanted  the  barometer,  we  found  it  useless. 
We  put  this  then  aside,  and  rigged  up  the  boiling- 


point  thermometer,  bat,  when  we  unscrewed  the 
spirit  lamp,  we  found  it  dry,  and  there  was  no 
supply  of  spirits.  So  this  too  was  a  failure  !  We 
tried  to  boil  the  instrument  in  a  saucepan  of  water, 
lighting  a  fire  for  the  purpose ;  but  the  water  inside 
the  case  would  not  boil ;  so  we  took  the  thermo- 
meter out,  and  boiled  it  naked  in  the  water,  as  I 
used  to  do,  you  will  recollect,  in  Abyssinia.  It 
gave  2090,  equal  to  somewhere  near  1500  feet  ele- 
vation. But  this  will  have  to  be  calculated  when 
I  get  home.  So  the  instruments  from  the  Koyal 
Geographical  Society  have  not  been  of  the  service 
I  anticipated.  However,  Milne  has  an  aneroid  as 
well  as  myself,  and  between  the  two  we  shall  come 
quite  near  enough  to  the  truth. 

Before  we  started,  the  Beduins  who  accompanied 
Milne  up  the  mountain  yesterday  came  for  bakh- 
shish. This  Abu  Nabut  gave  them  through  the 
Sheikh.  I  know  not  how  much;  but  they  were 
dissatisfied,  as  usual,  and  he  had  to  add  to  the 
amount.  Hashim  explained  to  me  that  the  Sidi 
Ali  ibn  'Elem,  about  whom  I  wrote  yesterday,  has 
his  tomb  or  mosque  about  half-way  between  Jaffa 
and  Haifa. 

We  started  at  8.15  a.m.,  and  kept  ascending 
Wady  Ithem   in  a  general  north-easterly  direc- 


tion.     On  the  way  we  fell  in  with  a  cannon  ball, 
which,  Milne  Bays,  weighs  about  fourteen  pounds, 
but  I  think  it  is  not  so  much ;  and  soon  after  a 
ball  of  about  an  inch  in  diameter.      These  are 
signs  of  Ibrahim  Pasha's  presence  here  in  1 840-43. 
The  road  all  the  way  up  the  wady  is  practicable  for 
carriages !    As  we  came  to  the  top,  the  mountains 
seemed  to  fall  and  the  valley  to  open,  giving  us  a 
splendid  view  of  Mount  Shera  in  front,  only  sepa- 
rated from  us  by  a  broad  sandy  plain,  up  which,  if 
I  mistake  not,  the  road  to  Petra  proceeds,  keeping 
towards  the  left.     I  cannot  make  the  way  out  at 
all  by  the  existing  maps ;  at  all  events,  not  by  the 
one  Mr.  Bolton,  of  Stanfords,  sent  me  out  to  Cairo. 
At  1 1.45  a.m.  we  came  to  the  water  parting  be- 
tween Wady  el  Ithem  and  Wady  Hesma,  and  pro- 
ceeding along  the  latter,  we  stopped  at  noon  in  a 
broad  sandy  '  plain' t     It  was  the  Sheikh  who  came 
to  a  halt,  telling  us  that  he  could  not  take  us  any 
further,  and  that  if  we  proceeded  we  should  have 
to   take  other  camels;  that  there  were  a  lot  of 
strange  Beduins  about,  and  a  long  rigmarole  which 
I  did  not  care  to  listen  to.     I  have  been  entirely 
disappointed  in  to-day's  journey,  which  I  plainly 
see  tends  to  nothing,  even  if  I  were  inclined  to  go 
on,  and  this  I  am  not.     I  am  content  with  the  dis- 


coveries  I  have  made.  And  the  best  of  it  is,  that 
the  Sheikh  says  he  has  given  orders  to  all  the 
Beduins  to  discontinue  the  use  of  the  name  B£ghir 
(Mount  Sinai),  and  to  call  it  Jebel-e'-Nur  alone.  So 
that  in  a  few  years  the  "  tradition"  will  be  that  it  has 
always  been  known  by  that  name,  as  the  true  *  Mount 
Sinai,'  by  people  who  have  never  heard  of  Dr.  Beke, 
just  as  it  is  with  Harran  ;  and  Cook's  tourists  will 
be  sent  to  the  "  Mountain  of  Light "  as  the  true 
Mount  Sinai :  its  being  so  very  little  out  of  the 
way  of  the  ordinary  tourists'  route  to  the  Holy 
Land,  and  so  absolutely  free  from  danger,  will  in- 
duce numbers  of  them  to  come  ;  and  my  views  will 
doubtless  soon  be  adopted  by  many  both  at  home 
and  abroad. 

We  should  have  stopped  here  for  lunch  at  all 
events  ;  and  as  it  was,  I  ordered  the  tents  to  be 
pitched  for  the  day,  and  Milne  will  go  up  the 
neighbouring  mountain,  Jebel  At&ghtagfeh,  and  see 
what  he  can  see  from  the  top.  To-morrow  morn- 
ing we  go  "  bock  agen."  How  by  this  road  we  are 
to  get  to  Jebel  Eret6wa,  of  which  Abu  Nabut  spoke 
last  night,  I  have  no  idea.  I  shall  not  now  attempt 
to  follow  it  up,  but  shall  merely  throw  out  the 
hint,  leaving  it  for  others  to  follow  up  if  they  like. 
After  lunch  Milne  packed  up  his  traps,  and  mount- 


ing  the  Sheikh's  horse,  went  off  to  the  mountain 
with  an  unpronounceable  name  like  "  Ghabaghib," 
on  the  way  from  Harran  to  GileacL  I  must  not 
omit  to  mention  that  up  here  in  this  plain  we 
found  a  large  patch  of  decent  grass,  so  we  had  the 
cloth  (a  prayer  carpet)  spread  out  on  it,  upon  which 
we  stretched  ourselves  out,  and  had  a  pique  nique 
a  VAnglaise.  Milne  felt  so  jolly  that  he  said  he 
had  no  inclination  to  move  afterwards. 

When  he  was  gone  I  occupied  myself  reading 
over  his  geological  notes  of  yesterday.  One  remark 
is  very  striking.  He  says  that  the  granite  rock  is 
wearing  away  in  spheroidal  flakes,  making  caves  and 
hollows  in  it ;  one  he  saw  would  hold  twenty  per- 
sons. In  places  the  side  of  the  mountain  is  quite 
pitted  with  holes.  I  do  not  know  whether  Mount 
Tor  has  any  of  these  caves;  but  the  Scripture 
History  requires  one,  both  in  the  case  of  Moses  and 
in  that  of  Elijah.  For  in  Exodus  xxxiii.  20-23,  we 
read,  "  And  he  said,  Thou  canst  not  see  my  face : 
for  there  shall  no  man  see  me  and  live.  And  the 
'  Eternal '  said,  Behold,  there  is  a  place  by  me,  and 
thou  shalt  stand  upon  a  rock  :  and  it  shall  come  to 
pass,  while  my  glory  passeth  by,  that  I  will  put 
thee  in  a  clift  of  the  rock,  and  will  cover  thee 
with  my  hand  while  I  pass  by  :"    And  in  1  Kings 


xix.  8,  9  :  "  And  he  arose,  and  did  eat  and  drink, 
and  went  in  the  strength  of  that  meat  forty  days 
and  forty  nights  unto  Horeb,  the  Mount  of  God. 
And  he  came  thither  unto  a  cave,  and  lodged 

I  cannot  make  out  the  country  where  we  are  at 
all.  Before  us,  north-east-by-east,  is  a  white  (lime- 
stone) mountain  called  Jebel  Hesma,  and  beyond 
that  is  Jebel  Shera.  Sheikh  Mohammed  says  we 
are  here  half  way  to  Petra;  but  Abu  Nabut  says 
we  are  not  yet  so  far  :  a  low  hill  to  the  left  of  Jebel 
Hesma — also  seen  from  hence — is,  he  says,  half 
way.  I  hope  Milne  will  come  down  with  some  de- 
finite information.  One  thing  is  clear,  and  that  is 
that  Burckhardt  has  given  the  name  of  Jebel  Shera 
to  what  is,  in  fact,  Jebel  Shafeh.  This  will  be 
seen  from  the  following  description  which  he  gives 
of  this  part  of  the  country  at  p.  435  of  his  "Syria 
and  Holy  Land."    On  leaving  Ma'an  he  says  : — 

"  We  turned  to  the  S.E.,  and  in  half  an  hour  from 
the  Djeylat,  passed  the  fine  spring  called  El  Szadeke, 
near  which  is  a  hill  with  extensive  ruins  of  an 
ancient  town.  From  thence  we  descended  by  a  slight 
declivity  into  the  eastern  plain,  .  .  .  the  same  im- 
mense plain  which  we  had  entered  in  coming  from 
Beszeyra,  on  the  eastern  borders  of  the  Ghoeyr, 

2  D 

4 1 8  DISCO  VERY  OF  MO  UNT  SI  NAT. 

here  presented  itself  to  our  view.  We  were  about 
six  hours  south  of  Maan,  whose  two  hills,  upon 
which  the  two  divisions  of  the  town  axe  situated, 
were  distinctly  visible.  .  .  .  About  eight  hours 
south  of  Maan,  a  branch  of  the  Shera  extends  for 
three  or  four  hours  in  an  eastern  direction  across 
the  plain  ;  it  is  a  low  hilly  chain.  The  mountains 
of  Shera  are  considerably  elevated  above  the  level 
of  the  Ghor,  but  they  appear  only  as  low  hills  when 
seen  from  the  eastern  plain,  which  is  upon  a  much 

higher  level  than  the  Ghor.  .  .  .  This  plain  termi- 


nates  to  the  south  near  Akaba,  on  the  Syrian  Hadj 
route,  by  a  steep  rocky  descent,  at  the  bottom  of 
which  begins  the  Desert  of  Nedjed,  covered,  for  the 
greater  part,  with  flints. 

(p.  436.)  "  It  might  with  truth  be  called  Petrcea, 
not  only  on  account  of  its  rocky  mountains,  but 
also  of  the  elevated  plain  already  described,  which 
is  so  much  covered  with  stones,  especially  flints, 
that  it  may  with  great  propriety  be  called  a  stony 
desert,  although  susceptible  of  culture.  In  many 
places  it  is  overgrown  with  wild  herbs,  and  must 
once  have  been  thickly  inhabited,  for  the  traces  of 
many  ruined  towns  and  villages  are  met  with  on 
both  sides  of  the  Hadj  road  between  Maan  and 
Akaba,  as  well  as  between  Maan  and  the  plains  of 

MA' AN.  419 

Haouran,  in  which  direction  are  also  many  springs. 
At  present  all  this  country  is  a  desert,  and  Maan 
is  the  only  inhabited  place  in  it.  All  the  castles 
on  the  Syrian  Hadj  route  from  Fedhein  to  Medina 
are  deserted.  At  Maan  are  several  springs,  to 
which  the  town  owes  its  origin ;  and  these,  to- 
gether with  the  circumstance  of  its  being  a  station 
of  the  Syrian  Hadj,  are  the  cause  of  its  still  exist- 
ing. The  inhabitants  have  scarcely  any  other 
means  of  subsistence  than  the  profits  which  they 
gain  from  the  pilgrims  in  their  way  to  and  from 
Mekka,  by  buying  up  all  kinds  of  provisions  at 
Hebron  and  Ghaza,  and  selling  them  with  great 
profit  to  the  weary  pilgrims,  to  whom  the  gardens 
and  vineyards  of  Maan  are  no  less  agreeable  than 
the  wild  herbs  collected  by  the  people  of  Maan  are 
to  their  camels.  The  pomegranates,  apricots,  and 
peaches  of  Maan  are  of  the  finest  quality.  .  .  . 
(p.  437.)  Maan  is  situated  in  the  midst  of  a 
rocky  country,  not  capable  of  cultivation  ;  the 
inhabitants  therefore  depend  upon  their  neighbours 
of  Djebal  and  Shera  for  their  provision  of  wheat 
and  barley." 

Palgraves  "Arabia"gives  the  following  account : — 

"  Ma1  an,  300  20'  N.  350  50'  E. — Before  and  around 

us  extended   a  wide   and  level   plain,   blackened 


over  with  countless  pebbles  of  basalt  and  flint, 
[obsidian  ?]  except  where  the  moonbeams  gleamed 
white  on  little  intervening  patches  of  clear  sand, 
or  on  yellowish  streaks  of  withered  grass,  the 
scanty  product  of  the  winter  rains  and  snow  dried 
into  hay. 

"  Wokba  Wells,  300  15'  N.  360  15'  E.— The  blue 
range  of  Sheraa'  [bounding  the  Ghor]  was  yet  visible 
[behind],  though  fast  sinking  in  the  distance,  while 
before  us  and  on  either  hand  extended  one  weary 
plain  in  a  black  monotony  of  lifelessness.  Only 
on  all  sides  lakes  of  mirage  lay  mocking  the  eye 
with  their  clear  and  deceptive  outline,  whilst  here 
and  there  some  dark  basaltic  rock,  cropping  up  at 
random  through  the  level,  was  magnified  by  the 
refraction  of  the  heated  atmosphere  into  the  sem- 
blance of  a  fantastic  crag  or  overhanging  moun- 

Volney,  writing  at  a  much  earlier  period  on  the 
same  subject,  says : — 

"  Ce  pays  n'a  6t6  visits  par  aucun  voyageur ; 
cependant  il  mdriterait  de  T&tre ;  car  d'apr&s  ce  que 
j'ai  oui  dire  aux  Arabes  [du  Chaik]  de  Bdkir,  et 
aux  gens  de  Gaze  qui  vont  h,  Mdan  et  au  Karak 
sur  la  route  des  pterins,  il  y  a  au  sud-est  du  lac 
Asphaltide,   dans  une   espace  de   trois   journ^es, 


plus  de  trente  villes  ruin^es,  absolument  d&ertes. 
Plusieurs  d'entre  elles  ont  de  grands  Edifices,  avec 
des  colonnes  qui  ont  pu  Stre  des  temples  anciens, 
ou  tout  au  moins  des  ^glises  Grecques.  Les  Arabes 
s'en  servent  quelquefois  pour  parquer  leurs  trou- 
peaux ;  mais  le  plus  souvent  ils  les  dvitent,  h,  cause 
des  &iormes  scorpions  qui  y  abondent.  L'on  ne  doit 
pas  s'^tonner  de  ces  traces  de  population,  si  Ton  se 
rappelle  que  ce.  fut-lk  le  pays  de  ces  NabatheSns 
qui  furent  les  plus  puissants  des  Arabes ;  et  des 
Idumdens  qui,  dans  le  dernier  sifccle  de  Jerusalem, 
dtaient  presqu'aussi  nombreux  que  les  Juifs ;  tdmoin 
le  trait  cit6  par  Josephe,  qui  dit  qu'au  bruit  de  la 
marche  de  Titus  contrc  Jerusalem,  il  s'assembla 
tout  d'un  coup  trente  mille  Idumdens  qui  se  jetdrent 
dans  la  ville  pour  la  d^fendre." * 

Speaking  of  the  peninsula,  he  adds — "  Ce  grand 
espace  est  presque  tout  occupd  par  des  montagnes 
arides  qui  du  c6t6  du  nord,  se  joignent  h,  celles  de  la 
Syrie,  et  sont  comme  elles  de  roche  calcaire.  Mais 
en  s'avanjant  au  midi,  elles  deviennent  graniteuses, 
au  point  que  le  Sinai  et  l'Horeb  ne  sont  que 
d'enormes  pics  de  cette  pierre.  C'est  k  ce  titre 
que  les  anciens  appel^rent  cette  contrde  Arable 

1  Volney's  "Voyage  en  Syrie  et  en  Egypt,*  vol.  ii.  pp.  317,  318. 
(Paris,  1787).  a  Ibid.,  pp.  320,  321. 


I  must  try  and  put  all  this  right  for  my  map,  as 
the  existing  maps  appear  all  wrong. 

Milne  returned  about  half-past  four  o'clock  from 
his  ascent  of  Jebel  At&ghtagfeh,  having  done  nothing 
of  consequence,  except  to  decide  positively  that 
there  are  no  volcanoes  or  lava  fields  visible.  So 
that  "  Mount  Sinai  is  not  a  volcano. "  I  can  with 
a  very  easy  conscience  retract  what  I  have  said, 
which  is,  after  all,  simply  matter  of  opinion.  The 
matter  oi  fact  remains  the  same.  We  have  the 
"  Mountain  of  Light"  nearly  in  the  position  which 
I  gave  to  "  Mount  Sinai "  forty  years  ago !  And 
on  this  I  can  hold  my  ground  very  well.  I  am  not 
ashamed  to  make  a  clean  breast  of  it.  Abu  Nabut 
came  into  my  tent  to  tell  me  I  should  "  tankey  God  " 
for  having  let  me  find  Jebel-e'-Nur  on  the  first  day 
from  Akaba,  and  for  thus  having  been  saved  four 
or  five  days  wandering  to  no  purpose.  What  he 
says  is  true  enough,  and  yet  I  should  like  to  make 
quite  sure  that  there  are  really  no  volcanoes  here- 
abouts. From  the  geological  features  of  the  country 
Milne  can  see  no  traces  of  anything  of  the  sort ; 
but  volcanic  regions  are  anomalous,  and  may  be 
lighted  on  in  an  unexpected  manner. 

In  the  evening  I  copied  out  Milne's  notes  of  his 
visit  to  Jebel-e'-Ntir,  which  I  have  entered  in  my 


To  face  /.  433. 


route  book.  His  original  drawings  of  the  inscriptions 
found  near  the  summit  I  send  herewith.  They  are  of 
no  more  reed  value,  I  expect,  than  the  other  "  Sinaitic 
Inscriptions,"  but  they  are  just  as  good,  and  there  is 
no  reason  why  they  should  not  be  published.  The 
lines  are  about  three-quarters  of  an  inch  broad,  and 
very  shallow,  perhaps  not  more  than  one-eighth  of 
an  inch,  engraven  on  rounded  boulders  of  granite, 
of  the  material  of  the  mountain,  standing  up  against 
each  other,  three  facing  to  the  north,  and  one  to 
the  south  (at  the  back).1 

February  2. — It  rained  all  night,  and  continues 
to  do  so  this  morning.  We  cannot  move.  Happy 
are  we  to  be  in  a  good  water-tight  tent. 

1  Mr.  Holland  tells  me  that  Professor  Palmer  considers  them  to 
be  tribe-marks.  Writing  of  Wady  Muweilih  ("Desert  of  the 
Exodus,"  pp.  354,  355),  the  Professor  observes — "  These  caves  are  also 
covered  with  the  Arab  tribe-marks  which  I  have  before  described, 
each  Bedawi  visitor  to  the  place  delighting  to  set  his  sign-manual  on 
the  wall.  M.  de  Saulcy  (and,  following  him,  many  subsequent  writers), 
who  had  noticed  them  in  the  neighbourhood  of  the  Dead  Sea,  calls 
them  c  Planetary  signs'  (see  Dr.  Tristram's  "  Land  of  Israel,"  p.  310), 
and  in  truth  they  are  not  altogether  unlike  the  mysterious  astrological 
emblems  on  the  coloured  bottles  which  adorn  a  chemist's  window. 

"These  tribe-marks  consist  in  reality  of  distorted  Hi myari tic  letters, 
generally  the  initial  letter  of  the  name  ;  thus,  the  mark  of  the  'Anazeh 
tribe  is  Q9  a  circle  with  a  dot  in  the  centre,  the  ancient  Himyaritic 

letter,  'Ain,  with  which  the  word  'Anazeh  begins.  The  Arabs 
themselves,  being  ignorant  of  writing,  are  of  course  unaware  of  this 
fact ;  they  consequently  designate  their  tribe-mark  by  the  name  of 
the  article  it  may  chance  to  resemble,  ed  dabbtis, '  the  club,'  d  bdb, 
*  the  door/  and  so  on." 


I  have  been  occupied  in  collecting  all  sorts  of  in- 
formation from  the  Sheikh  and  Abu  Nabut.  They 
tell  me  this  road  has  been  taken  by  many  travel- 
lers ;  but  none  of  them  would  seem  to  have  taken 
any  particular  notice  of  Mount  Bdghir,  apparently 
for  the  reason  given  by  Abu  Nabut,  that  "  it  was 
not  noticed  in  their  guide-books."  Sidi  Ali  ibn 
'Elem  came  here  to  pray  because  he  was  sent  here 
by  God  !  This  is  the  answer  given  me  when  I  ask 
how  he  came  to  this  particular  spot.  For  the  tra- 
dition hanging  about  it  I  can  find  no  reason  given, 
except  that  there  is  a  light  at  times  seen  on  the 
summit,  and  that  noises  like  those  of  a  cannon  are 
heard  when  the  Hadj  returns  from  Mecca  I  Those 
who,  like  Deans  Milman  and  Stanley,  attribute  the 
appearances  on  Mount  Sinai  to  a  severe  thunder- 
storm— and  nothing  else — do  not  appear  to  have 
taken  into  consideration  the  heavy  rain  which 
would  have  accompanied  it,  and  soaked  the  poor 
Israelites  to  the  skin,  unless  they  had  good  tents, 
which  I  doubt  their  having  carried  away  with 
them  in  their  flight  from  Mitzraim. 

When  Sheikh  Mohammed  had  given  me  the 
information  I  required,  he  asked  me  for  some  more 
tobacco.  I  demurred  a  little,  having  twice  given  him 
some,  which  Abu  Nabut  said  he  had  given  to  the 


other  Arabs ;  and  he  suggested  to  the  Sheikh  that 
in  future  he  should  keep  what  I  gave  him  for  him- 
self; to  which  the  other  replied  that  if  he  did  not 
divide  what  he  had  with  the  others  of  the  tribe,  he 
would  not  long  be  Sheikh  I  On  the  road  yester- 
day, Milne  made  a  drawing  of  Mount  Bdghir, 
which  he  has  finished  this  morning.  I  do  not  like 
it  much ;  but  I  wished  him  to  finish  it  at  once  as 
I  said  we  must  absolutely  have  a  representation 
of  "Mount  Sinai."  My  own  little  pen-and-ink 
sketch  of  the  east  spur  will  come  in  very  well 
in  addition.  Towards  noon  it  seemed  to  be 
clearing  up,  and  we  saw  snow  on  the  moun- 
tains; but  it  still  kept  overcast  with  occasional 
showers,  so  that  there  is  no  chance  of  our  moving 

Sheikh  Mohammed  ibn  Ij£t — that  is  his  right 
name  I  find — was,  on  Abu  Nabut's  suggestion, 
invited  by  me  to  lunch  with  (or  rather  after) 
us.  We  had  some  tea  with  our  lunch  to  keep  \is 
warm,  for  it  is  bitterly  cold,  and  afterwards  the 
teapot  was  filled  with  water  for  our  guest !  We 
were  at  dessert  when  he  came  in.  I  at  once  offered 
him  a  cup  of  tea  which  I  poured  out,  Abu  Nabut  fill- 
ing the  cup  half  full  with  sugar ;  and  he  had  then  a 
dish  of  baccalhdo  or  dried  fish,  stewed  with  plenty 


of  sauces,  set  before  him  with  a  loaf  of  bread.  He 
began  to  eat  very  decently  with  a  spoon,  but  soon 
set  to  work  with  his  fingers,  and  made  a  good 
hearty  meal,  taking  care  to  make  plenty  of  noise 
in  eating  to  show  his  gentility,  and  after  he  had 
finished  he  did  not  fail  to  say,  "  Istaghfar  Allah/' 
which  appears  to  be  the  correct  expression,  and 
not  "  bismillah."  He  had  managed  to  suck  his 
fingers  as  well  as  he  could.  Hashim  ought  to 
have  brought  him  water,  but  as  he  did  not,  as  he 
was  drawing  away  from  the  table,  our  guest  gave  a 
clutch  at  the  end  of  the  tablecloth,  and  used  it  as  a 
finger-napkin.  His  tea  he  left  to  the  last,  except 
some  dates  and  an  orange,  hx  the  course  of  con- 
versation he  let  us  know  that  he  is  not  in  the  habit 
of  accompanying  strangers,  but  usually  sends  one 
of  his  under-Sheikhs.  But  as  we  came  in  the 
steamer,  and  were  specially  recommended  to 
his  care  by  the  Khddive,  it  was  only  proper 
that  he  should  escort  us  in  person;  for  all  of 
which  we  duly  thanked  him,  and  then  he  took 
his  leave. 

He,  the  Sheikh  of  the  Aluwfn,  has  a  fine  old  Per- 
sian (Ajdmi)  sword,  which  bears  the  date  118.  If 
this  is  of  the  Hegira,  it  means  that  it  is  1 1 74  years 
old ! !     But  perhaps  the  date  may  be  of  some  other 


era.  It  has  inscribed  on  it  the  names  "  Allah, 
Mohammed,  Abubekr,  and  Ali " — Omar,  the  second 
Khalif,  is  omitted.  With  respect  to  Mohammed 
ibn  Ij&t,  and  to  Beduins  generally,  I  may  here  tell 
you  what  Professor  Palmer  says  on  the  subject  in 
his  "Desert  of  the  Exodus,"  p.  297  : — 

"  I  cannot  expect  respectable  and  taxpaying 
Englishmen  to  enter  with  much  appreciation  into 
the  Bedawfn  question,  and  I  know  the  prejudice 
that  exists,  in  this  country  particularly,  against  the 
extinction  of  a  romantic  [whence  the  romance  ?]  and 
interesting  race.  The  sympathy  already  wasted  on 
the  Red  man  of  North  America  [false  sentiment] 
warns  me  that  I  am  treading  on  delicate  ground,  but 
I  must  nevertheless  state  my  belief  that  the  noble 
savage  [a  savage  race  is  to  mankind  what  the  savage 
member  of  society  is  to  society]  is  a  simple  and 
unmitigated  nuisance.  To  the  Bedawi  this  ap- 
plies even  more  forcibly  still,  for,  wherever  he  goes, 
he  brings  with  him  ruin,  violence,  and  neglect. 
To  call  him  a  €  son  of  the  desert  *  is  a  misnomer ; 
half  the  desert  owes  its  existence  to  him,  and  many 
a  fertile  plain  from  which  he  has  driven  its  useful 
and  industrious  inhabitants  becomes  in  his  hands, 
like  the  '  South  Country/  a  parched  and  barren 


"  Several  plans  have  been  tried  from  time  to 
time  to  make  him  a  respectable  member  of  society, 
but  have  signally  failed ; — missionaries  have  gone  to 
him,  and,  so  long  as  they  could  supply  him  with 
tobacco  and  keep  open  tent  for  all  comers,  have 
found  him  sufficiently  tractable.  But  they  have  made 
absolutely  no  impression  upon  him  after  all.  The 
Turkish  Government  once  devised  a  creditable  and 
brilliant  scheme,  namely,  to  fill  up  all  the  wells  in 
the  desert  round  Palmyra;  for  a  time  this  kept 
him  out  of  Syria,  and  sent  him  to  worry  some  one 
else ;  and  so  far  it  answered  its  purpose.  But  the 
Pasha  entrusted  with  the  execution  of  the  order 
planted  tamarisk  bushes  to  mark  the  spots  where 
the  water  lay,  and  received  a  good  sum  from  the 
'Anazeh  Arabs  for  the  information  which  enabled 
them  to  recover  it. 

"  Eishid  Pasha,  one  of  the  most  energetic  and 
enlightened  officials  the  Ottoman  Empire  has  ever 
produced,  came  near  to  solving  the  problem. 
Shortly  after  we  left  the  Tfh,  he  sent  word  down  to 
Gaza  that  the  Bedawfn  of  those  parts  must  for  the 
future  live  in  huts  instead  of  tents ;  our  friends 
were  acute  enough  to  see  that  this  was  a  deadly 
blow  aimed  at  their  very  existence,  and  the  first 
fifteen  Turkish  soldiers  who  appeared  amongst  the 


Tey&hah  were  killed.  A  detachnlent  of  troops  was 
sent  down,  and  all  the  flocks  and  herds  were  con- 
fiscated, brought  to  Jerusalem,  and  sold  for  a 
nominal  value  to  the  Fellahf n.  The  Bedawf n  sought 
and  obtained  the  protection  of  the  Viceroy  of 
Egypt,  and  thus  the  far-seeing  policy  of  th& 
Governor-General  of  Syria  was  thwarted. 

"  If  the  Governments  of  Egypt,  Turkey,  and 
Arabia  would  but  act  in  concert,  and  consult  the 
real  interests  of  their  subjects,  this  terrible  scourge 
might  be  removed,  and  the  Fellahfn  relieved  from 
the  constant  dread  of  rapine,  and  freed  from  the 
sic  vos  non  vobis  misgivings  with  which  they  now 
till  their  ground.  They  would  then  become  a 
more  contented  and  honest  people. 

"I  do  not  advocate  a  war  of  extermination 
against  the  Bedawfn,  because  I  do  not  think  it 
policy  to  destroy  so  much  muscle  which  might  be 
made  serviceable  to  the  community,  and  I  have 
still,  even  in  the  days  of  mitrailleuses,  some  old- 
fashioned  notions  about  the  sacredness  of  human 
life,  but  I  would  put  an  end  to  their  existence 
qud  Bedawin.  The  Bedawf  regards  the  Fell&h 
with  unutterable  scorn.  He  has  a  constitutional 
dislike  to  work,  and  is  entirely  unscrupulous  as  to 
the  means  he  employs  to  live  without  it;  these 


qualities  (which  also  adorn  and  make  the  thief  and 
burglar  of  civilisation)  he  mistakes  for  evidences 
of  thorough-breeding,  and  prides  himself  accord- 
ingly upon  being  one  of  Nature's  gentlemen.  [And 
we  encourage  him !] 

-  "  Camels  and  sheep  are,  as  I  have  before  said, 
the  Bedawf 8  only  means  of  subsistence,  and  so 
long,  then,  as  he  lives  his  present  unsettled  life, 
and  can  support  himself  with  the  milk  which  they 
produce,  he  is  independent  of  all  occupation  save 
plundering.  The  effect  of  this  is,  that  the  soil  he 
owns  deteriorates,  and  his  neighbours  are  either 
driven  away  or  reduced  to  beggary  by  his  raids 
and  depredations.  If  the  military  authorities  were 
to  make  systematic  expeditions  against  these  tribes, 
and  take  from  them  every  camel  and  sheep  which 
they  possess,  they  would  no  longer  be  able  to  roam 
over  the  deserts,  but  would  be  compelled  to  settle 
down  to  agricultural  pursuits  or  starve."  [They 
would  prefer  this  almost.] 

"The  superior  advantages  which  the  peaceful 
agriculturist  would  then  possess  over  them  would 
curb  their  unreasonable  pride,  and  the  necessity 
for  keeping  pace  with  him,  if  they  wished  to  live  at 
all,  would  bring  out  the  resources  of  their  undoubt- 
edly keen  intellects  ["  Eutopic ! "].      They  might 


thus  be  tamed  and  turned  into  useful  members  of 
the  community.  Such  a  plan  would  probably 
entail  some  hardships  and  injustice  at  first,  but  a 
virulent  disease  requires  a  strong  remedy,  and  we 
must  not  wince  at  the  application  of  the  cautery  to 
cure  the  plague. 

'  Ov  7T/0O9  iarpou  <ro<f>ov 

Opqveiv  €7r<p8a<;  irpbs  roy&vri  iryfiari' 

— Sophocles,  Aj.  v.  579." 

In  connection  with  this  important  subject  Colonel 
J.  C.  Gawler  wrote  a  very  interesting  "Letter  to 
Sir  Moses  Montefiore,"  which  contained  much  valu- 
able information  ;l  and  as  this  question,  as  affecting 
so  seriously  Syria  and  Palestine,  cannot  fail  to  call 
for  grave  consideration  and  for  some  adjustment 
before  long,  let  us  hope  that  a  brighter  future  is 
yet  in  store  for  the  Holy  Land. 

But  to  return  to  the  subject  of  my  journey.  I 
am  so  cold  that  I  can  scarcely  hold  my  pen.  Milne 
has  been  shading  my  sketch  of  the  mountain,  and 
has  spoilt  it,  I  tell  him ;  but,  in  fact,  he  has  im- 
proved and  secured  it.  It  makes  a  very  pretty 
picture,  I  think.  This  afternoon,  as  Abu  Nabut 
was  sitting  outside  over  a  fire  with  the  Sheikh  of 

1  This  "  Letter  "  was  read  at  a  meeting  of  the  Board,  held  at  the 
Spanish  and  Portuguese  Synagogue  Vestry  Chambers,  Bevis  Marks, 
and  printed  by  Werteimer,  Lea,  <fe  Co.,  1874. 


the  Towara  Arabs,  who  has  supplied  our  camels, 
he  made  the  amende  honorable  to  me.  He 
told  me  of  his  contract  with  the  Sheikh,  which 
was,  that  he  should  find  the  camels  for  the 
journey  to  Akaba,  and  that  then  I  was  to  go 
excursions  from  thence  into  the  neighbourhood, 
returning  at  night  to  Akaba.  I  told  him  how 
absurd  this  was,  as  in  the  contract  it  is  expressly 
stated  that  he  was  to  take  me  as  far  as  Jebel-e'- 
Nur  and  Marghara  Sho'eib,  and  that  if  I  had  not 
happened  to  go  to  Madian  (Midian)  in  the  steamer, 
I  might  have  required  him  to  take  me  as  far  as 
Marghara  Sho'eib.  He  admitted  this,  and  said  he 
had  no  thought  of  bringing  the  matter  before  the 
Consul,  but  would  be  satisfied  with  whatever  I  said 
and  did.  All  he  desired  was  to  give  me  satisfac- 
tion, and  to  obtain  a  testimonial  from  me,  which 
would  let  the  world  know  that  he  is  not  dead,  but 
that  he  is  the  same  Abu  Nabut  who  accompanied 
Lepsius  on  his  travels,  &C.1  So  all  this  is  settled 
in  the  most  amicable  way  possible. 

1  In  substantiation  of  Abu  Nabut's  assertion,  I  may  quote  the 
following  from  Professor  Lepsius's  "  Letters  from  Egypt,"  p.  232  : — 

"  We  have  now  a  servant  from  Derr,  the  capital  of  Lower  Nubia, 
who  speaks  tolerably  good  Italian,  is  animated  and  intelligent,  and 
is  a  great  assistance  to  me  in  acquiring  a  knowledge  of  his  own 
dialect,  the  Mahass.  I  have  sometimes  tormented  him  with  ques- 
tions in  the  boat  for  five  or  six  entire  hours  in  one  day,  for  it  is  no 

MO  UNT  SIN  A  /.  433 

February  3. — It  did  not  rain  when  we  retired  to 
rest  last  night,  and  I  was  in  hopes  it  would  be  fine, 
as  the  "  glass  "  is  rising  a  little  ;  but  in  the  morn- 
ing before  daylight  it  began  to  rain  again  most 
heavily.  This  is  dreadfully  annoying  and  distress- 
ing to  me,  as  the  delay  is  so  important.  At  the 
same  time  there  is  this  consolation,  that  it  con- 
vinces me  more  and  more  that  the  Scripture 
account  of  the  Delivery  of  the  Law  does  not  de- 
scribe a  mere  thunderstorm.  The  Israelites  with- 
out tents  could  never  have  withstood  it.  It  is  now 
nine  o'clock,  and  we  cannot  start  yet.  It  is  very 
unfortunate,  for  I  want  to  be  down  on  the  Red  Sea 
(at  Akaba)  on  the  twenty-first  day  of  the  moon, 
Friday  or  Saturday  next,  in  order  to  witness  the 
phenomena  corresponding  to  those  of  the  passage 
of  the  Israelites  through  the  sea.  I  am  now  afraid 
I  shall  not  be  there  in  time.  Thus  one  is  the  slave 
of  circumstances ;  or  rather,  we  cannot  control 
events,  which  are  at  the  disposal  of  One  above  us. 

small  trouble  for  both  of  us  to  understand  each  other  about  gram- 
matical forms  and  inflections.  He  has,  at  any  rate,  at  the  same  time 
acquired  more  respect  for  his  own  language,  here  everywhere  con- 
sidered bad  and  inferior  to  the  Arabie,  and  which  it  ia  thought  one 
ought  rather  to  be  ashamed  of." 

And  on  page  241,  when  alluding  to  the  "  Wadi  Nuba"  of  the  maps, 
he  says — "Neither  our  Nubian  servant,  Alime<l,  a  native  of  the  dis- 
trict of  Derr,  nor  any  of  the  people  who  are  settled  in  the  country, 
are  acquainted  with  this  name." 

2  K 


All  that  I  now  long  for  is,  that  I  may  get  down  to 
the  Red  Sea  in  time. 

Seeing  there  was  little  chance  of  its  being  fine, 
we  made  up  our  minds  at  eleven  o'clock  to  start. 
So  we  had  a  hurried  lunch,  loaded  the  camels,  and 
were  off  in  the  rain.  My  takhterawdn  had  its  cot- 
ton and  then  its  oilcloth  cover  put  on  ;  but  as  the 
rain  came  principally  in  my  face,  I  had  to  put  up  my 
umbrella,  and  wrap  up  my  legs  in  my  railway  rug. 
My  overcoat  I  had  already  put  on,  so  that  I  man- 
aged pretty  comfortably,  though  it  was  miserably 
cold.  Before  starting,  Sheikh  Mohammed  ibn  Ijdt 
remarked,  that  whenever  he  was  asked  who  disco- 
vered Jebel-e'-Nur  he  would  answer  "  Hakim  Beke." 

When  we  started  we  were  among  the  clouds, 
which  we  got  in  part  clear  of  as  we  descended. 
Approaching  Jebel-e'-Nur — or,  as  I  shall  now  call 
it,  "Mount  Sinai" — it  stood  out  majestically  be- 
fore us,  but  with  at  least  half  its  height  enveloped 
in,  and  hidden  from  us  by  clouds.  The  views  of 
this  mountain  are  far  more  imposing  than  those  of 
the  "  traditional  Mount  Sinai."  It  stands  out  quite 
distinctly,  and  might  have  been  viewed  all  round 
by  the  Israelites  encamped  at  its  base — that  is  to 
say,  towards  this  side,  from  which  they  must  have 
approached  it  coming  from  the  south. 


It  was  only  just  2  p.m.  when  the  Sheikh  came  to 
propose  that  we  should  stop  and  encamp.  We  were 
far  from  as  low  down  as  we  were  on  January  3 1  ; 
but  he  said  that  it  was  a  good  sandy  spot,  where 
we  should  be  dry,  and  this  we  should  not  be  at  the 
lower  station.  So  at  2.15  p.m.  we  stopped.  It  had 
cleared  up  a  little  on  the  road,  though  I  can  hardly 
say  we  were  free  from  a  thick  mist ;  but  scarcely 
were  the  tents  pitched  when  it  began  raining  again. 
We  have  descended  about  two  hundred*  and  fifty 
feet  from  the  last  station.  On  opening  my  port- 
manteau, I  found  the  water  had  entered  it,  owing 
to  its  having  been  loaded  bottom  upwards  on 
the  camel.  I  have  told  Hashim  to  look  to  this  in 

There  is  not  much  we  can  do  here  to-day ;  but 
I  am  thankful  we  are  so  much  nearer  the  head  of 
the  Gulf  of  Akaba.  I  am  assured  by  the  Sheikh 
that  we  shall  be  there  to-morrow ;  but  I  doubt  it. 
I  must  remain  at  the  head  of  the  Gulf  till  the  time 
of  the  moon  corresponding  to  that  of  the  passage 
of  the  Israelites.  It  will  make  an  important  feature 
of  my  narrative,  as  being  a  matter  of  fact.  If  I 
were  to  leave  beforehand,  it  would  be  matter  of 
speculation  and  opinion,  whereas  by  remaining  I 
shall  have  facts  to  narrate. 

43  6  DJSCO  VER  Y  OF  MOUNT  SIN  A  /. 

Feb)%uary  4.  —  Better  weather  this  morning, 
though  it  is  very  cloudy  and  threatening.  Last 
night  I  had  a  long  talk  with  Milne  about  the  re- 
sults of  my  journey.  He  does  not  at  all  like  our 
returning  without  a  volcano.  I  say  that  the  volcano, 
though  almost  a  vital  object  with  me,  is  in  truth 
but  of  secondary  importance.  My  desire  is  to  in- 
terpret the  Scripture  History  truly.  I  believed  I 
should  find  a  volcano  where  I  placed  Mount  Sinai. 
I  find  the  "  Mountain  of  Light,"  but  no  volcano. 
I  am  therefore  bound  to  confess  that  I  was  in 
error  as  regards  the  physical  character  of  Mount 
Sinai,  and  that  the  appearances  mentioned  in 
Scripture  were  as  little  volcanic  as  they  were  tem- 
pestuous. Milne,  who  looks  at  the  matter  in  a  purely 
scientific  point  of  view,  says  he  would  find  a  vol- 
cano first,  and  then  endeavour  to  see  if  the  Scrip- 
ture History  could  be  fitted  into  it.  But  this  I 
cannot  do.  Even  at  the  cost  of  the  total  prostration 
of  mind  I  must  believe  in  the  Scripture  History,  and 
dare  not  twist  it  to  suit  my  own  views.  I  am  like 
the  Roman  Catholic  :  I  must  not  allow  reason  to 
interfere  with  my  belief.  The  result  however  is, 
that  to  satisfy  my  companion — and  I  cannot  deny 
some  doubts  of  my  own  still — I  have  decided  on 
going  a  little  way  up  Wady  Amran  to-day,  and 


sending  Milne  alone  to  the  top  of  it,  to  see  what 
he  can  see  in  that  direction. 

To-morrow,  please  God,  we  will  go  down  to 
Akaba.  Accordingly,  we  started  at  8. 15  a.m.,  and 
at  nine  o'clock  we  passed  our  encampment  of 
January  31st.  Soon  after  this  we  saw  one  of  our 
Beduins  fetch  water  out  of  a  rock  I  We  were 
passing  under  the  east  end  of  Mount  B&ghir,  when 
I  saw  a  man  carrying  a  zemzemiyeh  and  a  tin  can 
ascend  the  mountain,  stepping  from  stone  to  stone 
till  he  came  to  an  immense  mass  of  rock  as  big  as 
a  house,  unto  the  top  of  which  he  ascended,  and 
then  began  ladling  the  water  out  with  his  can  and 
filling  his  zemzemiyeh.  Though  we  could  not  see 
it  from  below,  there  was  evidently  a  hollow  in  the 
upper  surface  of  the  rock  where  the  rain-water 
accumulated  ;  and  being  known  to  the  people  here, 
it  serves  them  as  a  supply.1 

At  10.30  a.m.  we  came  to  the  junction  of  Wady 
Amran  with  Wady  Ithem  (Etham),2  when  a  long 
talk  took  place  between  Abu  Nabut  and  Sheikh 
Mohammed,  accompanied  with  gesticulations  and 
cries,  in  which  half  a  dozen  others  joined  ;  the  up- 
shot being  that  the  Sheikh  wanted  to  be  paid  more. 
We  were  now  going  into  the  country  of  another 

1  Exod.  xvii.  6.  *  Exod.  xiii.  20. 

438  DISCO  VER  Y  OF  MO  UNT  S1NA  L 

tribe,  and  they  wanted  coffee,  tobacco,  and  money, 
and  Abu  Nabut  had  none  of  them  ;  and  a  deal 
more.  When  I  was  appealed  to,  I  said  that  all  I 
wanted  was  to  be  taken  up  Wady  Amran,  in 
accordance  with  the  Khedive's  finnan.  If  the 
Sheikh  refused  to  take  me,  I  should  return  to  Misr 
and  tell  the  Khddive.  I  had  nothing  more  to  say. 
So,  after  some  more  quarrelling  between  the  two, 
we  went  on,  and  in  an  hour  came  to  a  halt. 

It  was  now  a  question  as  to  my  intention.  Did 
I  mean  to  go  further  up  the  valley  to-morrow  ?  If 
so,  they  must  send  down  to  Akaba  for  rice  and 
other  supplies.  I  answered,  "  No  : "  but  that  after 
luncheon  Mr.  Milne  would  go  up  the  valley,  and 
look  at  the  rocks,  &c,  and  to-morrow,  please  God, 
we  would  all  go  down  to  Akaba.  This  arrangement 
gave  general  satisfaction,  and  at  half-past  twelve 
Milne  went  off  on  foot  with  one  Beduin.  Hashim 
caught  cold  yesterday  (I  don't  wonder  at  it)  and  is 
unable  to  go.  The  Sheikh  was  most  amiable.  He 
said  he  was  ready  to  do  everything  out  of  respect 
for  me ;  but,  when  it  came  to  the  scratch,  he  would 
do  nothing.  He  says  that  he  is  not  now  the  Sheikh, 
but  my  servant,  and  a  great  deal  more — the  Jin  mot 
being  that  he  wanted  some  tobacco.  I  gave  him 
two  packets  ;  and  as  Milne's  guide,  a  worthy  old 


fellow,  who  accompanied  him  011  all  his  excursions, 
is  always  begging  for  tobacco,  I  gave  him  a  packet 
"  on  the  quiet "  to  give  to  the  old  man  on  the  road. 
It  is  surprising  how  I  bear  all  this  knocking  about 
and  rough  weather ;  for  I  am,  thank  God,  pretty 
well.  The  other  day,  as  I  was  hammering  at  some 
stones,  I  hurt  my  finger,  but  I  strapped  it  up  im- 
mediately with  some  of  Mr.  Maw's  sticking-plaster, 
and  it  is  all  right  again. 

3.30  p.m. — Milne  returned  much  sooner  than  we 
either  of  us  expected.  He  seems  to  have  come  to 
the  end  of  the  granite,  where  the  sandstone  begins, 
but  has  seen  no  signs  of  any  volcanoes.  Therefore 
"  Mount  Sinai  a  volcano"  must  be  given  up.  Whilst 
out,  he  heard  two  guns  fired.  They  must  have  been 
from  the  Amrani  Beduins,  in  whose  country  we  now 
are,  and  whose  fires  we  saw  on  the  mountains  on 
our  right  hand  as  we  came  along  the  valley. 

The  dispute  between  Abu  Nabut  and  Sheikh 
Mohammed  was  about  the  claim  the  Amrani  will, 
or  may,  make  for  our  being  on  their  ground,  and 
the  end  of  it  was  that  Abu  Nabut  agreed  to  pay 
thirteen  dollars  (five-franc  pieces)  for  one  day. 
We  have  not  seen  any  of  them  yet,  but  they  will 
come  down,  no  doubt.  Our  Beduins  will  keep  watch 
to-night  for  fear  of  accidents.     I  shall  now  be  glad 

4  40  DISCO  VER  y  OF  MO  UNT  SI  NAT. 

to  get  away  from  these  parts  and  down  to  Akaba 
As  far  as  the  result  of  my  journey  is  concerned,  I 
must  be  satisfied  with  the  discovery  of  Jebd-e-Nur 
as  the  true  "  Mount  Sinai,"  just  where  I  originally 
considered  it  must  be  situated,  east  of  the  Gulf  of 
Akaba.1  The  volcanic  theory  I  must  abandon.  But 
I  trust  I  have  done  enough  to  satisfy  the  world 
generally,  and  the  subscribers  to  my  expedition  in 

The  Harra  Badjl&  of  Yakut  must  be  much  further 
to  the  east.  Perhaps  the  volcanoes  seen  by  Irby 
and  Mangles  belong  to  it ;  but  that  is  no  longer  my 
affair.  The  American  Palestine  Exploration  Fund 
Expedition  will  in  due  course  of  time  attend  to  this. 
My  work  is  nearly  done.  I  cannot  but  feel  regret 
at  not  finding  all  my  views  to  be  confirmed,  but  I 
must  be  thankful  indeed  to  find  that  I  am  right  as 
far  as  the  main  point  is  concerned. 

I  must  tell  you  that  all  the  Sheikhs  wear  red  gar- 
ments, which  are  given  to  them  by  the  Khedive,  both 
the  Aluwfn  and  our  Tow&ra,  in  whose  hands  I  hope  to 
be  to-morrow.  These  are  a  very  decent  lot,  on  account 
of  their  immediate  proximity  to  Egypt,  and  from 
their  having  during  so  many  generations  had  the 

1  See  "Origines  Biblicae,"  pp.    194,   195,   London,    1834;   and 
4*  Mount  Sinai  a  Volcano,"  p.  44. 


charge  of  pilgrims  and  tourists  visiting  the  tradi- 
tional Mount  Sinai  (Mount  Tor),  and  the  road  be- 
tween Suez  and  Akaba  being  in  their  country.  As 
I  expected,  two  of  the  Amrani  Beduins  have  come 
into  our  camp.  Sheikh  Mohammed  has  told  them 
that  we  are  on  a  visit  to  his  country  under  his  escort 
and  protection,  and  that  en  passant  we  just  wished 
to  have  a  look  up  their  valley.  I  hear  that  out  of 
twelve  of  his  own  party  he  has  sent  eight  away,  so 
that  they  are  now  only  four.  This  I  imagine  he 
has  done  in  order  that  his  visit  might  not  have  a 
hostile  appearance.  Our  new  friends  have  heard 
that  I  wish  to  go  to  Maghara  Sho'eib  and  Madian, 
and  as  these  places  are  within  their  country,  they 
are  prepared  to  accommodate  me ;  but  when  Abu 
Nabut  told  them  I  had  already  been  there,  they 
would  not  believe  it. 

February  5. — A  lovely  morning,  but  very  cold  : 
the  thermometer  at  7  a.m.  stood  at  380  5' — six  de- 
grees and  a  half  above  freezing.  We  had  no  more 
than  the  two  Amrani  in  camp,  but  our  Towaras 
kept  watch  all  night,  as  they  said  they  weuld.  On 
the  way  yesterday  we  met  an  old  woman,  who 
wanted  to  know  what  we  did  on  her  "  premises,"  the 
ground  that  Allah  had  given  her  and  her  people ; 
but  we  managed  to  satisfy  her.    We  started  at  8. 1 5 


a.m.,  and  about  nine  o'clock  the  saddle  of  my  hind 
camel  began  to  give  way ;  so  I  had  to  get  out  of  the 
taJchterawdn  to  have  it  put  in  order.  I  fancy  they 
have  changed  the  camel.  As  the  camels  walk  their 
leaders  and  drivers  cry  out  "  Hottbi,"  which  means 
"  lift  up  your  feet,"  or,  "  take  care ; "  and  they  urge 
them  on  by  crying  out,  "  Hait,  hait  I  arr-rig ! " 

At  9.20  we  came  to  the  junction  of  Wady  I  them, 
where  we  saw  Jebel  Bighir,  that  is,  "  Mount  Sinai," 
right  in  front  of  us.  This  immense  mountain  is 
seen  in  all  directions.  Just  below  the  junction  we 
came  on  a  large  stone  covered  with  a  long  Cufic  in- 
scription. Our  cook's  camel  having  strayed  a  little 
out  of  the  way  while  he  was  walking  on  foot, 
he  went  after  it  close  to  the  rock,  when  he  saw  this 
stone  and  told  Milne  of  it.  Milne  sent  to  tell  me, 
but  I,  having  no  idea  of  anything  of  the  sort,  ima- 
gined that  it  meant  he  had  been  writing  or  drawing 
something.  So  I  called  out  to  him  to  ask  if  he 
wanted  me,  and  on  his  replying  "  No,"  which  he 
did  under  the  supposition  that  I  did  not  care  to 
stop,  I  went  on.  But  soon  after  learning  what  the 
fact  really  was,  I  turned  back,  and  asked  Milne  to 
make  a  sketch  of  it,  which  he  did.  I  dismounted 
and  examined  the  inscription,  but  could  -make 
nothing  of  it.    I  should  have  had  difficulty  in  doing 



so,  even  had  I  known  the  character,  the  letters  I 

being  very  slightly  incised,  and  they  are  in  part 
covered  over  with  some  other  characters,  which  are 


perhaps  intended  for  rude  Cufic.    These  being  of  / 

later  date,  are  of  lighter  colour  than  the  original 

inscription,  which  itself,  again,  is  lighter  than  the 

stone.     The  inscription  is  on  the  west  or  front  side 

of  the  stone,  which  is  also  written  on,  on  the  south 

side.      The  stone  stands   on  the   right-hand  side 

(east)  of  the  Wady,  just  below  the  junction.     As 

this  is  on  a  now  frequented  road  to  Petra,  it  is 

strange   that  it  should  never  have  been  noticed 

before.     Abu  Nabut  has  passed  it  no  less  than 

fifteen  times  with  European  travellers,  and  Hashim 

twice.     We  too,  did  not  see  it  as  we  went  up  to 

"  Mount  Sinai,"  and  had  it  not  been  for  Ibrahim's 

camel  straying,  it  is  pretty  certain  we  should  have 

missed  it  the  second  time.     As  it  happens,  the 

stone,  if  not  the  inscription,  is  now  secured.     I  am 

told  of  another  stone  on  the  other  side  of  the  Wady, 

a  little  lower  down,  but  it  was  not  till  after  we  had 

gone  by  it,  and  I  did  not  care  to  return  a  second 


At  11.45  we  passed  the  wall  across  the  Wady, 
which  is  not  so  high  as  I  thought,  being  only  seven 
feet;  but  the  parts  nearest  to  the  mountain  are 


higher.  We  came  down  to  Akaba  more  quickly 
than  we  went  up,  reaching  a  very  nice  spot  at  a 
little  distance  north  of  Akaba  at  2.15  p.m.  We 
encamped  in  the  midst  of  a  date  grove  close  to  the 
sea,  and  not  far  from  the  head  of  the  gulf. 

My  first  task  was  to  go  down  to  the  sea  to  see 
how  the  tide  was.  From  2.30  to  3.30  it  seemed  at 
a  stand-still — low  water;  but  when  I  went  down 
at  four  o'clock,  it  had  been  rising.  I  marked  low 
water  with  some  stones,  and  I  shall  watch  high 
water  tonight.  There  seems  to  be  very  little  tide, 
and  if  I  can  make  it  out  to-day  and  to-morrow 
morning,  I  think  of  starting  for  Suez  to-morrow. 
The  palms  here  grow  most  luxuriantly,  and  as  I 
said  when  I  was  here  before,  fresh  water  is  found 
a  foot  deep  close  to  the  sea.  This  shows  there  is 
a  powerful  watercourse  here  like  as  at  Zulla,  in 
Annesley  Bay,  namely,  the  united  wadies  Ithem 
and  Amran. 

Our  tents  were  hardly  pitched  when  the  Muhafiz 
and  his  officers  came  to  welcome  us  and  to  hear 
the  news.  We  told  them  all  about  our  discovery  of 
"  Mount  Sinai,"  the  inscriptions,  and  so  on,  to  their 
great  surprise  and  gratification.  I  had  coffee  served, 
of  course,  and  while  they  were  drinking  it,  Sheikh 
Mohammed  came  in,  and  walking  to  the  upper  part 


of  the  tent,  sat  down  on  Mr.  Milne's  portmanteau, 
there  being  no  room  elsewhere,  for  he  did  not  dare 
to  sit  upon  our  beds  above  us,  and  the  lower  places 
were  all  already  taken.  His  son  came  in  too,  and 
squatted  on  my  portmanteau.  Abu  Nabut  and  the 
Sheikh  of  the  Towara  stood  at  the  door ;  and  then 
commenced  a  solemn  Kalam  about  the  "  almighty 
dollar."  They  talked  so  hard  and  fast  that  I 
thought  it  time  to  interfere,  and  to  say  that  this 
being  no  business  of  mine,  it  ought  not  to  take 
place  in  my  tent.  Whereupon  they  went  out  to 
finish  their  talk.  It  is  five  o'clock,  however,  and 
they  have  not  done  yet — the  end  of  it  being  that 
Abu  Nabut  came  to  me  to  beg  as  a  favour  that  I 
would  give  him  more  money.  I  gave  him  ten 
Napoleons,  and,  with  two  pounds'  worth  of  small 
money,  I  made  up  ten  pounds,  which  he  accepted 
most  thankfully,  as  he  said  he  found  himself  in  a 
difficulty  with  this  extra  charge — for  which  he 
ought  to  have  provided.  I  am  now  cleared  out. 
As  he  has  given  me  no  receipt  for  the  thirty 
pounds  he  has  had  during  the  journey,  I  got  him  to 
acknowledge  it  in  my  companion's  presence,  who 
then  gave  me  a  written  declaration  to  that  effect. 

There  is  some  question  of  Taiyriha  and  Terabin 
Arabs,  through  whose  territories  we  have  to  pass 


before  getting  into  that  of  our  friends  the  Towaras. 
Abu  Nabut  tells  me  that  he  will  explain  all  to  me 
when  he  gets  away  from  this  place.  He  has  been 
away  making  purchases  for  the  return  journey ;  but 
to-morrow  we  do  not  start.  I  cannot  make  my 
observations  here  in  less  time  than  the  whole  of  to- 
morrow. Indeed  I  ought  to  remain  another  day, 
but  I  shall  manage  not  to  do  so.  We  have  three 
soldiers  picketed  by  our  tents  I  In  the  evening  I 
watched  the  tide,  and  found  it  at  its  highest  at  9. 15 
p.m.,  as  it  seemed  to  me.  It  was  about  the  same 
hour  that  the  moon  rose.  It  was  a  lovely  night,  as 
still  and  calm  as  a  lake,  and  the  glass  is  rising,  so 
that  it  promises  to  be  fair. 

February  6. — Before  4  a.m.  I  was  up  and  out  on 
the  beach  to  observe  the  tide.  I  was  quite  alone, 
nobody  being  about,  but  I  could  see  the  soldiers 
squatting  round  their  fire.  Of  course  they  saw  me, 
but  took  no  notice.  I  stayed  by  the  sea  till  four 
o'clock,  when  it  seemed  to  me  that  the  tide  began 
to  turn.  It  was  low  water  when  I  went  out  on  the 
beach,  and,  as  is  always  the  case,  there  is  an  inter- 
val, more  or  less  long,  when  the  water  neither  rises 
nor  falls.  The  distance  between  high  and  low  water- 
marks is  only  six  yards,  and  the  rise  and  fall  of  the 
tide,  as  far  as  I  could  estimate  it,  does  not  exceed 


three  or  four  feet.  In  rough  weather,  or  at  spring 
tides,  the  beach  is  covered  some  sixteen  yards  more. 
It  was  a  most  exquisite  morning,  the  sea  more  still, 
if  possible,  than  it  was  when  I  left  it  last  night, 
with  a  high  moon  overhead  and  Venus  shining 
brightly  close  to  her.  I  wish  I  had  the  command 
of  language,  wouldn't  I  say  something  fine  ! 

I  returned  to  bed  without  disturbing  Milne, 
though  he  says  that  he  heard  me  either  when 
going  out  or  coming  in ;  but  he  does  not  trouble 
himself  when  not  called  on  to  do  so.  In  this  he  is 
a  perfect  "soldado."  This  morning  he  is  off  at  8 
a.m.  to  visit  the  long- talked- of  Maghara !  We 
have  found  it  at  last.  I  was  dreadfully  afraid  it 
would  turn  out  to  be  all  talk,  and  that  therefore  I 
might  appear  to  have  made  a  wrong  representa- 
tion in  my  letters  to  Sir  Walter  Trevelyan  and 
to  Mr.  Poulett  Scrope,  and  others.  But,  thank 
God,  there  the  cave  is,  close  to  the  head  of  the  sea, 
as  is  stated  in  Exodus.1  It  will  take  him  all  the 
day  to  go  and  return.  I  had  wanted  him  to  help 
mef  with  my  observations,  and  to  take  the  time  of 
noon  from  the  sun ;  but  I  must  now  do  the  best 
I  can  by  myself.  The  "  sun  "  must  be  taken  on 
the  journey,  as  he  carries  the  azimuth  compass 

1  Exod.  xiv.  1. 


with  him  for  use.  After  he  was  gone  I  tried  to 
take  an  observation  with  the  boiling-point  thermo- 
meter, but  could  not  do  it  with  the  Royal  Geo- 
graphical Society's  new-fangled  apparatus.  It  is 
just  as  it  was  with  us  in  Abyssinia.  So  I  put  the 
tubes  and  things  aside,  and  boiled  my  thermo- 
meter  in  the  water  itself,  as  I  used  to  do  on  both 
occasions  when  I  was  in  Abyssinia.  I  did  it  well 
enough  then,  and  so  I  have  done  it  now !  I  have 
got  a  day  of  comparative  idleness  before  me,  so  I 
think  I  shall  begin  writing  a  letter  to  the  "  Times," 
to  be  sent  from  Suez  as  soon  as  I  arrive  there. 

1 1  a.m. — In  the  midst  of  my  work  I  have  left 
off  to  go  down  and  look  at  the  sea  again.  It  is 
really  marvellous.  The  calm  is  absolute,  and  the 
tide  goes  gently  running  down  with  scarcely  any 
movement.  The  beach  shelves  gently  out,  and 
may  be  seen  for  a  considerable  distance  under  the 
clear  water — every  stone  of  the  shingle  being  dis- 
tinctly visible.  I  imagine  the  tide  can  have  had 
very  little  effect  on  the  passage  of  the  Israelites. 
I  had  entered  this  in  my  diary  as  the  day  of  the 
*  encampment  by  the  Red  Sea/  and  the  '  Passage9 
as  having  taken  place  this  very  night.  I  think  I 
have  made  a  mistake  in  my  calculation,  and  that 
to-morrow  is  the  day.     If  I  find  myself  in  error 


when  I  get  back  to  England,  I  shall  only  have  to 
add  the  difference  of  three-quarters  of  an  hour. 
Everything  is  so  completely  without  variation  one 
day  from  another,  that  it  is  never  worth  while 
wasting  twenty-four  hours. 

Poor  Captain  Sciassar  had  very  different  weather. 
It  continued  go  rough  after  we  left  Akaba  and 
started  inland,  that  the  boat  could  not  reach 
the  beach,  and  he  had  to  swim  off  to  his  ship. 
After  this  he  went  only  as  far  as  the  anchor- 
age behind  Pharaoh's  Island.  "Whether  he  re- 
mained there  a  day,  or  continued  his  voyage 
on  the  following  day,  I  cannot  make  out;  but 
I  fancy  he  went  on  in  the  course  of  Jauuary 
31.  Anyhow  he  will  not  have  more  than 
reached  Suez  by  this  time  with  my  letters.  I 
have  omitted  to  say,  that  on  the  way  down 
Wady  Ithem  yesterday,  we  passed  on  the  left  side 
a  rock  with  several  round  holes  in  it,  perhaps  a 
foot  in  diameter,  and  as  much  or  more  deep,  with 
still  more  numerous  smaller  holes,  two  or  three 
inches  across.  The  story  is,  that  in  one  of  the 
larger  holes,  a  Beduin  of  Tor  (Peninsula  of  Pharan) 
found  a  jar  containing  gold  and  silver,  which  he 
carried  away  wit! 
have  been  made  1 


hope  of  finding  other  treasures !  Milne  says  that 
the  holes  are  natural,  being  caused  by  the  weather- 
ing and  disintegration  of  the  granite ;  and  I  my- 
self saw  with  him  one  part  of  the  rock  in  which 
the  process  was  going  on  on  a  large  scale. 

2.30  p.m. — I  am  now  occupied  with  the  tide, 
as  it  will  soon  be  low  water.  But  there  is  a  little 
wind,  and  the  sea  is  no  longer  so  calm,  though 
still  it  must  be  called  quite  smooth.  Abu  Nabut 
has  got  some  beautiful  fish  caught  here  :  some  are 
a  bright  scarlet  and  others  a  beautiful  blue,  and 
both  kinds  are  a  foot  long  and  more.  There  are 
none  like  them  at  Suez  they  say,  only  in  this — the 
sea  that  the  Beni  Israel  passed  through,  as  they 
are  already  learning  to  say  !  It  will  be  a  case  of 
"  Haran  "  in  a  very  short  time.  This  morning,  when 
I  went  out  to  look  at  the  tide,  some  large  crows  and 
a  raven  flew  across  my  path  on  the  left  hand,  and 
alighted  on  the  shore  at  my  right !     Is  this  lucky  ? 

While  I  was  down  on  the  beach  in  the  after- 
noon, a  fellow  with  a  gun  shot  one  of  the  ravens 
on  the  wing,  and  crippled  him.  I  did  not  see  the 
result,  but  I  conclude  that  he  ran  after  his  prey,, 
and  killed  the  bird :  more  shame  for  him  I  The 
Haz  Bashi  came  in,  and  was  very  anxious  about 
Milne's  keeping  away  so  long.     I  do  not  know  what 


arrangement  Abu  Nabut  made  with  him,  but  I 
fancy,  nay,  I  am  sure,  the  old  vagabond  wanted  me 
to  make  him  a  present.  He  talked  of  having  him- 
self given  him  two  pounds  of  candles,  and  as  I 
happen  to  have  brought  a  pound  in  my  trunk  in 
case  of  accidents,  I  got  them  out  and  gave  them  to 
the  officer's  little  boy,  a  nice  quiet  little  child,  who 
comes  always  with  his  father,  and  who  is  dressed 
up  in  a  Haz  Bashi's  uniform.  What  the  Muhafiz 
wants  of  me  is,  that  I  should  say  a  word  in  his 
favour  with  the  Khedive,  which  I  will  willingly  do. 
He  and  his  officers  have  behaved  extremely  well. 
They  have  had  long  talks  about  Moses  and  Pharaoh, 
according  to  the  Kor&n  version  of  the  story,1  which 
I  mean  to  make  use  of.  When  the  Haz  Bashi  took 
leave  of  me,  he  requested  that  one  of  the  soldiers 
might  be  sent  to  him  immediately  on  Milne's 
return  to  inform  him  of  it. 

It  was  not  till  six  o'clock  that  Milne  came  back, 
heartily  tired  with  a  journey  twice  as  long  as  he 
had  anticipated.  His  day,  he  said,  had  been  thrown 
away :  there  was  no  maghara,  nothing  in  fact  to 
see.  But  when  I  came  to  inquire  particulars,  I 
found  that  there  is  a  "  maghara,"  though  he  does 
not  care  to  call  it  one ;  but  he  has  made  a  sketch 

1  Desert  of  the  Exodus.    Appendix  C,  p.  533. 

45  2  DISCO  VER  Y  OF  MO  UNT  SIN  A  J. 

of  it,  which  will  be  one  of  the  most  effective  in  my 
book  1  He  has  also  made  a  sketch  of  Pharaoh's 
Island,  with  "  Mount  Sinai "  towering  beyond  it, 
and  appearing  as  if  it  stood  directly  above  it, 
whereas  it  is  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  sea !  But 
what  is  more  important  by  far  is,  that  he  has  seen 
a  salt  marsh  at  the  head  of  the  Gulf,  over  which 
the  sea  sometimes  runs,  with  a  pqssage  of  dry  land 
between  the  two.  Here  it  is  that  the  Israelites 
passed ! 1  I  must  go  and  see  this  to-morrow. 
This  will  make  us  a  day  longer  perhaps ;  but  this 
I  must  not  care  for.  I  may,  in  spite  of  myself  as 
it  were,  be  placed,  on  the  twenty-first  day  of  the 
moon,  on  the  very  spot  from  which  the  Passage  of 
the  Israelites  through  the  Red  Sea  took  place  !  I 
feel  that  I  am  not  my  own  master  in  all  this.  I 
plan  one  thing,  and  circumstances  happen  to  alter 
my  plans.     "  Man  proposes,  and  God  disposes." 

February  7. — Truly  I  may  say  this.  The  wind 
got  up  so  much  yesterday  evening  that  it  was 
quite  useless  to  think  of  going  out  to  observe  the 
tide,  as  it  depends  so  greatly  on  the  wind  that  all 
results  are  quite  arbitrary.  In  ordinary  times  the 
difference  between  high  and  low  water  on  the 
beach  is  only  about  six  yards,  and  the  rise  and 

1  Exod.  xiv.  1,  21,  22. 


fall  four  feet.  I  turned  in  last  night  before  nine 
o'clock,  and  soon  fell  fast  asleep;  but  about 
ii  p.m.  I  was  awakened  by  the  wind  knocking 
the  side  of  my  tent  against  my  bed,  so  I  got  up, 
struck  a  light,  and  moved  my  bed.  I  looked 
out,  but  could  see  nothing,  it  being  very  dark, 
and  the  wind  blowing  fearfully.  I  returned  to 
bed,  but  in  about  half  an  hour,  before  I  could 
get  to  sleep,  Milne  called  out,  "  Look  out,  Doctor, 
my  side  of  the  tent  has  come  down  on  me,  and  the 
whole  will  fall  on  you  if  you  don't  take  care." 
On  this  I  at  once  got  up  and  dressed  myself  as 
well  as  I  could  in  the  dark,  putting  on  everything 
in  order  to  be  ready  for  a  rush.  The  tent  still  kept 
up,  and  as  soon  as  I  was  dressed  I  went  out,  and 
called  Abu  Nabut.  He  roused  all  his  people,  and 
they  soon  came  to  the  rescue.  The  storm  was  now 
worse  than  ever,  and  had  they  not  brought 
immediate  assistance,  the  tent  would  surely  have 
gone  over.  As  it  was,  they  lashed  the  centre  pole 
with  a  thick  rope  to  a  date  tree  close  by,  both  at 
the  top  and  in  the  middle,  and  strengthened  the 
tent  ropes  by  tying  them  all  together.  They  did 
their  work  very  cleverly,  as  we  could  see  in  the 

When    the   tent   was    righted,   a    lantern   was 


brought  into  it,  and  by  this  light  we  packed 
up  all  our  things  as  quickly  as  we  could.  Abu 
Nabut  talked  of  taking  down  the  tent  altogether, 
but  by  means  of  ropes  and  extra  cords  we  managed 
to  keep  it  up  in  its  place,  so  that  after  a  while  we 
were  able  to  return  into  it  and  lie  down. 

But  in  the  meanwhile  what  a  scene  of  confusion 
and  horror — really  horror  it  was.  The  wind  blew 
most  terrifically,  and  drove  the  sand  with  such  vio- 
lence that  we  were  literally  smothered  with  it :  and 
it  cut  so  too  1  A  curious  fact  was  noticed,  namely, 
that  the  intensity  diminished  the  higher  it  was 
above  the  ground.  When  we  were  stooping  to  our 
portmanteaus  it  more  than  half  blinded  us,  besides 
actually  bruising  the  skin ;  but  when  we  stood  up 
it  was  our  legs  that  suffered  instead  of  our  faces. 

The  sea  was  perfectly  wild,  coming  up  far  above 
the  ordinary  limits.  When  I  first  went  out  to 
call  Abu  Nabut  I  witnessed  a  singular  sight. 
The  wind  was  blowing  from  the  south,  or  south- 
west, which  naturally  heaped  the  waters  up  in 
our  direction,  so  that  they  ran  up  the  beach,  and 
filling  the  hollow  ground  behind,  left  a  tongue 
of  dry  land  between  the  two.  This,  as  the 
storm  increased,  and  the  waters  also  rose,  was 
soon  covered ;  but  when  I  first  saw  it  the  water 

PHARA  OH'S  NIGHT.  45  5 

was  on  both  sides-  of  the  land!  How  forcibly 
then  and  wonderfully  did  this  portray  and  confirm 
the  Bible  narrative  (Exod.  xiv.). 

I  had  been  telling  Abu  Nabut  last  night  about 
this  being  the  anniversary  of  the  passage  of  the 
Israelites,  and  the  destruction  of  Pharaoh  ;  and 
the  first  thing  he  did  when  he  came  to  me  was  to 
remind  me  of  what  I  had  said ;  and  he  has  since 
constantly  spoken  of  this  as  "  Pharaoh's  night.'*  I 
believe  he  thinks  me  something  wonderful,  and  as 
knowing  things  that  no  one  else  does.  The  effect  of 
the  dry  sand  and  wind  was  such  that  my  mouth 
and  throat  were  quite  parched,  and  I  had  to  ask 
for  some  water  to  drink.  Milne  quite  indepen- 
dently of  me  did  the  same.  While  they  were 
getting  our  tent  in  order,  we  went  and  sat  down 
in  the  other  tent  in  the  dark.  Through  all  the 
strain  put  on  it,  our  good  tent  did  not  give 
way  anywhere  ;  but  that  of  Abu  Nabut  was,  how- 
ever, much  torn  in  more  than  one  place. 

Such  a  night  I  think  I  never  experienced  in  my 
life.  As  the  day  approached  the  storm  abated  some- 
what, but  it  was  still  raging  when  I  rose  at  seven 
o'clock.  I  felt  myself  quite  unwell  and  unnerved, 
and  on  Abu  Nabut's  coming  to  me  for  instructions  as 
to  what  was  to  be  done,  saying,  that  if  we  remained 


at  Akaba,  the  tents  must  be  moved  into  some 
sheltered  place,  I  told  him  that  he  might  pack  up 
and  be  off  at  once,  as  I  did  not  intend  to  remain  a 
moment  longer.  Nothing  could  be  observed  in 
such  weather,  and  therefore  I  had  no  object  in  re- 
maining ;  besides,  I  had  to  .consider  Milne,  who 
wanted  to  be  back  in  England  by  a  certain  time. 
Nabut  was  only  too  glad  to  be  off,  and  set  to  work 
instantly  to  strike  the  tents. 

Now  came  the  leave-taking.  The  old  man 
who  has  accompanied  Milne  on  his  excursions 
wanted  to  be  paid,  as  was  only  right ;  but 
Abu  Nabut  had  left  me  without  money,  so  I 
emptied  my  purse,  containing  some  five  shillings, 
into  the  corner  of  the  old  fellow  s  cloak.  He 
was  not  satisfied,  but  had  to  be,  for  I  could  give 
him  no  more.  Then  came  Sheikh  Mohammed, 
who  begged  me,  when  I  saw  the  Khedive — Effen- 
dina — to  say  that  he  kissed  his  feet,  and  had  only 
been  too  happy  to  obey  his  commands  in  attending 
to  me.  For  His  Highness's  sake  he  had  allowed 
the  Tow&ra  with  their  camels  to  come  into  his 
country ;  only,  in  future,  he  would  suggest  in  the 
most  delicate  way  in  the  world  that  the  Tow&ra 
should  bring  strangers  to  Akaba  only,  and  that 
from  thence  the  Aluwfn  should  have  the  supply  of 


these  amiable  creatures.  This  latter  part  was  in- 
tended for  the  British  Consul,  to  whom  he  sent  his 
salams.  As  for  me,  he  said  he  was  delighted  to 
have  known  me,  and  to  have  been  of  use  to  me  in 
discovering  "  Mount  Sinai."  And  so,  after  shak- 
ing hands  all  round,  and  wishing  me  all  kinds  of 
good  fortune,  Sheikh  Mohammed,  with  all  his 
"  tag-rag  and  bob-tail,"  rode  away  up  the  moun- 
tains. It  was  now  the  turn  of  the  Muhafiz.  He 
was  profuse  in  his  compliments,  as  I  was  in  mine, 
of  course ;  and  the  end  of  it  was,  that  he  asked  me 
to  give  him  a  silver  watch  as  a  remembrance  of 
me,  and  said  that  if  I  put  it  in  the  hands  of  the 
Consul,  it  would  reach  him  in  safety !  I  assured 
him  that,  "  I  wished  he  might  get  it ;  '*  and  bo  we 
parted  on  the  most  friendly  terms.  There  was 
then  a  long  kaldm  with  Abu  Nabut,  to  the  effect 
that,  as  I  imagine,  I  was  handed  over  into  the  safe 
keeping  of  the  Sheikh  of  the  Towara,  who  is  to 
convey  me  to  Suez  and  Cairo. 

Akaba  might  be  made  a  large  city — was  one,  in 
fact,  in  former  times.  Like  Adulis,  it  is  at  the 
mouth  of  a  large  watercourse,  so  that  it  has 
water  all  the  year  round;  and  its  numerous  date- 
trees  show  how  luxuriant  vegetation  of  almost 
every  kind  mig 


anything  may  be  done  in  these  countries.  I  shall 
suggest  this  to  the  Khedive.  Why,  too,  should 
not  the  Port  of  Akaba  be  utilised,  as  in  the  time  of 
Solomon  ? * 

At  length,  at  9.20  a.m.,  we  were  off  on  our  way 
home.  But  before  starting  Abu  Nabut  showed  me 
that  he  deserved  his  nickname  ('  the  Man  with  a 
Stick')  by  giving  one  of  our  Beduins  a  good 
thrashing,  though  they  soon  made  it  up.  It 
was  now  a  fine  morning,  though  the  sea  was 
still  remaining  very  high.  There  was  no  saying 
anything  about  the  tide.  I  could  see  that  the  water 
had  been  more  than  ten  yards  above  high  water- 
mark, and  yet  it  hardly  seems  to  be  quite  high 
water  even  now. 

On  leaving  Akaba  we  went  along  round  the  head 
of  the  Gulf,  under  some  sand  banks  thrown  up  by 
the  sea.  Date  palms  and  other  vegetation  covered 
the  Arabah  to  some  distance  inland.  By  and  by 
we  came  to  the  commencement  of  a  salt  marsh 
which  extends  some  way  up  the  Arabah.  We  first 
passed  below  a  pool  of  salt  water  some  thirty  or 
forty  yards  from  the  sea ;  and  then  another  larger, 
which  Milne  saw  yesterday,  and  which  therefore 

1  1  Kings  ix.  26.     See  Captain  Burton's  forthcoming  work,  "  The 
Gold  Mines  of  Midian." 


was  not  caused  by  lost  night's  storm;  then  we 
passed  a  third,  larger  still,  and  nearer.  They  all 
seem  on  a  somewhat  higher  level  than  the  sea,  and 
to  have  formed  by  the  water  being  washed  over  by 
wind  and  tide.  But  presently  we  came  to  a  little 
stream  running  acroBS  our  path  from  the  sea  where 
the  ground  was  lower.  It  now  threatened  to  rain  ;  so 
I  thought  of  wrapping  myself  up,  and  asked  for  my 
railway  rug ;  but  it  was  missing.  It  was  evidently 
stolen  last  night  by  one  of  the  Beduins  during  the 

As  we  approached  the  western  side  of  the  head  of 
the  Gulf  we  had  on  our  right  hand  a  flat  waste  of  salt 
marsh,  pools  of  which  were  almost  in  our  path,  *v,n 
sand  being  so  rotten  that  a  stick  could  easily  be  thi 
a  yard  down.     The  rains  from  the  mountains  ; 
into  this  marsh,  and  thence  find  their  way  into 
sea.     I  doubt  not  that  the  whole  of  this  marsh  : 
merly  formed  part  of  the  sea,  which  consequei 
must  have  extended  further  to  the  north,  and 
road  on  which  we  went  may  then  have  forme< 
shallow  or  reef.    All  this  may  possibly  affect 
passage  of  the  Israelites.     There  was  a  salt  eff 
escence  on  the  ground  here  and  there  a  little  i 
from  us. 

At  1 1  a.m.  we  reached  the  western  side  of 


sea,  and  began  ascending  the  mountains.  We 
appear  not  to  have  gone  up  any  regular  wady ;  but 
rather  to  have  crossed  the  beds  of  several,  running 
south,  our  course  being  somewhat  about  north- 

At  11.45  we  came  to  Wady  el  Mahaserat, 
marked  in  the  map  as  Wady  el  Musry.  The  map 
appears  to  be  altogether  wrong.  Up  this  wady 
we  ascended  west-north-west  or  so,  till  noon.  It 
now  began  to  rain;  but  we  went  on  till  12.45, 
when  we  stopped  to  take  luncheon. 

From  Mr.  Milne's  description  of  his  visit  on  the 
6th  inst.  to  the  Maghara,  or  Cave  opposite  Jesirat 
Fir'6n,  and  from  what  he  there  saw,  en  passant, 
of  the  limestone  formations  at  the  mouth  of  this 
wady,  coupled  with  the  fact  of  our  now  finding 
here  several  large  cavernous  openings,  he  has,  you 
will  see,  come  to  the  conclusion  that  the  existence 
of  "Caves"  (Magharas)  opposite  Jesirat  Fir'6n  is 
most  probable.     Mr.  Milne  says : — 

"  Feb.  6th. — Close  to  Ras  el  Musry  [Mahaserat], 
and  opposite  Jesirat  Fir'6n,  we  get  headlands  of 
hard  stone  projecting,  and  forming  small  caves. 
For  the  most  part  this  is  a  bluish  grey  granitic 
rock,  but  there  is  also  a  reddish  coarse-grained 
granite,  the  mica  being  in  plates  the  size  of  a  half- 


crown.  Between  those  two  places  there  is  an  ex- 
posure of  a  whitish  limestone,  about  a  quarter  of 
a  mile  in  length.  In  parts  this  is  quite  white,  but 
the  bulk  of  it  is  of  a  yellowish  tinge.  As  it  nears 
the  granite  rocks  of  Jesirat  Fir'6n  it  slopes  up- 
wards, as  if  forming  a  flank  to  them.  These  are 
very  noticeable  from  their  tilted  position  and  their 
bright  pink  colour.  The  exposed  limestone  in  one 
place  may  be  at  least  600  feet  high,  forming  with 
its  cliff  and  talus  an  imposing  object.  It  varies 
considerably  in  texture,  being  in  places  compact 
and  hard,  and  in  others  apparently  earthy  :  these 
latter  having  intercalated  with  them  several  hard 
bands  two  or  three  feet  thick.  Part  of  it  contains 
irregularly  disseminated  light  yellowish  flints. 

"  There  was  no  cave  seen  in  this  limestone  on 
the  very  cursory  examination  I  could  give  it, 
simply  passing  by  at  a  distance  probably  of  a 
quarter  to  half  a  mile ;  but  their  existence  is  not 
improbable,  from  the  fact  that  when  on  our  journey 
from  Akaba  to  Suez,  we  came  to  the  continuation 
of  the  same  rock,  and  saw  in  it,  on  the  face  of  the 
cliff,  several  large  cavernous  openings.  From  their 
height  above  we  could  not  reach  them,  and  the 
whole  was  so  shut  in  by  other  rocks  that  the  por- 
tion visible  w&s  very  limited. 


"  The  chief  motive  for  my  not  paying  this  lime- 
stone particular  attention  was,  that  I  was  on  my 
way  to  a  spot  which  the  people  at  Akaba  described 
as  a  Maghara,  or  cave,  but  which  in  fact  (if  my 
guides  took  me  to  the  right  place),  is  nothing  more 
than  a  niche  formed  by  two  overhanging  granitic 
rocks  opposite  Jesirat  Fir'6n,  which,  in  our  accepta- 
tion of  the  word  '  cave/  can  hardly  be  considered  as 
such.  About  ten  yards  distant  from  it  is  a  notice- 
able outlier,  also  granitic,  in  appearance  resembling 
one  of  the  outstanding  'needles'  so  common  on 
the  English  coast. 

"  February  7. — After  leaving  the  Gulf  of  Akaba 
the  road  slopes  upwards,  amongst  mounds  of  dSbris, 
right  and  left,  and  under  your  feet  you  notice 
fragments  of  granitic  rocks,  and  also  of  limestone, 
indicative  of  what  is  to  be  found  above.  After 
about  two  hours  travelling  between  much  decom- 
posed granitic  rocks,  we  came  on  the  limestone  at 
about  1000  feet  elevation,  and  after  continuing  a 
short  distance  up  the  valley,  with  the  limestone  on 
our  left,  and  granitic  rocks  on  the  right,  the  road 
turns  suddenly  to  the  left  between  high  cliffs  of 
limestone,  where  we  encamped.  In  the  right  hand 
cliff  (north)  were  the  caves,  already  mentioned  on 
the  6th  instant.    This  limestone  has  all  the  appear- 


ances  and  physical  qualities  of  the  chalk  of  the 
South  of  England,  from  which  it  differs  in  the  fact 
that  it  contains  bands  of  flint  stone  and  not  of 
flints.  The  thickness  of  these  bands  and  their  dis- 
tance apart  vary,  but  they  may  be  taken  as  averag- 
ing four  inches  in  thickness,  and  four  feet  apart. 
The  strike  of  this  limestone  would  indicate  that  it 
is  continued  down  towards  the  limestone  or  chalk 
seen  by  Ras  el  Musry,  lithologically  the  two  being 
almost  identical." 

Assuming  this,  and  that  Wady  el  Mahaserat 
(Musry  ?)  runs  down  from  the  one  to  the  other, 
then  this  wady  is  Pi-ha-hiroth — the  "  Entrance  to 
the  Caverns  " — and  no  doubt  other  caverns  will  be 
found  along  the  course  of  the  wady.1  [February 
14,  1874.     Charles  Beke.] 

We  were  not  yet  at  the  summit  of  the  mountain, 
but  we  had  a  magnificent  view  of  the  head  of  the 

1  Exodus  xiv.  1.  On  Dr.  Beke's  writing  to  Mr.  Milne  (May  7, 
1874),  asking  him  whether  other  caves  ought  not  to  be  inserted  in 
his  drawing,  he  replied  : — "  The  rest  of  the  holes  in  that  chalk  cliff 
were  too  small  to  be  called  caves,  and  therefore  had  better  be 
omitted.  Bat  observe  that  along  the  line  of  junction  of  the  chalk 
and  granite,  which  will  be  up  that  Wady  Musry,  there  i9  every 
likelihood  of  there  being  more  caves.  The  chalk  rock  being  con- 
torted, as  seen  in  the  drawing,  and  water,  &c,  percolating  through 
the  contortions  and  breakages,  is  more  likely  to  produce  caves  there 
than  elsewhere  in  the  solid  mass.  This  can  be  dilated  on.  N.B. — 
That  chalk  is  not  equivalent  to  our  chalk  in  age,  but  only  so 


Gulf  of  Akaba,  with  "  Mount  Sinai "  beyond — its 
summit  being  hidden  by  clouds.  Here  we  may 
well  suppose  Pharaoh  to  have  seen  the  Israelites 
encamped  by  the  sea,  as  we  read  in  Exodus  xiv. 
9,  10  : — "  But  the  Egyptians  pursued  after  them, 
all  the  horses  and  chariots  of  Pharaoh,  and  all 
his  horsemen,  and  his  army,  and  overtook  them 
encamping  by  the  sea,  beside  Pi-ha-hiroth,  before 
Baal-Zephon.  And  when  Pharaoh  drew  nigh,  the 
children  of  Israel  lifted  up  their  eyes,  and,  behold, 
the  Egyptians  marched  after  them^" 

This  is  an  excellent  carriage  road  all  the  way. 
At  i .  1 5  p.m.  we  started  again,  and  in  less  than  half 
an  hour  crossed  into  Wady-el-Satkh,  up  which  we 
went  northwards  crossing  into  another  wady, 
which  they  still  said  was  Wady  el-Satkh.  As  we 
were  now  near  the  top  of  the  pass,  and  they  say 
there  is  no  place  to  stop  for  some  four  hours  more, 
we  encamped  here  at  2.30  p.m. — a  very  short  day 
— in  the  Wady  el-Satkh,  about  half  an  hour  they 
say  below  the  Ras-el-Satkh,  or  Nagb.  The  road 
was  a  good  deal  improved  by  Abbas  Pasha  when 
his  mother  went  to  Mecca,  and  the  present  Pasha 
has  also  been  at  work  upon  it. 

Dr.  Robinson  gives  the  following  description  of 

AKABA.  465 

this  part  of  his  route  from  Akaba  to  Jerusalem  r1 — 
"April  $ih,  1838. — Having  at  last  made  all  our 
arrangements,  we  left  the  castle  of  'Akabah  at  a 
quarter-past  one  o'clock  p.m.  ,  .  .  Our  course  lay- 
along  the  head  of  the  gulf  on  the  Haj  road  by 
which  we  had  come  yesterday.  At  2.40  we  reached 
the  foot  of  the  western  ascent,  where  the  hills  of  con- 
glomerate, which  we  had  passed  yesterday  further 
south,  sink  down  into  a  steep  slope  of  gravel, 
extending  far  to  the  north.  This  we  ascended 
about  W.N.W.,  and  at  3.25  crossed  the  shallow 
Wady  Ehurmet  el-Jurf,  which  runs  down  towards 
the  right ;  and  then  came  among  low  hills  of 
crumbled  granite.  Beyond  these  there  is  again  an 
open  gravel  slope  in  some  parts,  before  reaching 
the  higher  granite  cliffs.  At  four  o'clock  we 
encamped  on  the  side  of  the  mountain,  in  a  narrow 
branch  of  the  same  water-course,  called  Wady  edh- 
Dhaiyikah.  From  this  elevated  spot  we  had  a 
commanding  view  out  over  the  gulf,  the  plain  of 
el-'Arabah,  and  the  mountains  beyond. 

"  The  castle  bore  from  this  point  S.E.  by  E. 
Behind  it  rose  the  high  mountain  el-Ashhab  ;  and 
back  of  this,  out  of  sight,  is  el-Hismeh,  a  sandy 

1  "Biblical  Researches  in  Palestine,"  &c,   vol.  i.   pp.  173-175. 
London.     1867. 

2   G 


tract,  surrounded  by  mountains.  But  no  one  of 
our  guides  knew  this  latter  name  as  a  general 
appellation  for  these  mountains.  At  the  south 
end  of  the  Ashhab,  the  small  Wady  Elteit  comes 
down  to  the  sea,  having  in  it  the  ruin  Ktisr  el- 
Bedawy,  bearing  from  here  S.  400  E.  More  to  the 
south  the  hills  along  the  eastern  coast  are  lower, 
having  the  appearance  of  table  land ;  while  further 
back  are  high  mountains,  and  among  them  the 
long  ridge  en-Nukeirah.  These  extend  far  to  the 
south,  and  there  take  the  place  of  the  lower  hills 
along  the  coast.  North  of  the  castle  the  large 
Wady  el-Ithm  comes  down  steeply  from  the  north- 
east through  the  mountains,  forming  the  main 
passage  from  'Akabah  to  the  eastern  desert.  By 
this  way  doubtless  the  Israelites  ascended  from 
the  Bed  Sea  in  order  to  '  compass  Edom,'  and  pass 
on  to  Moab  and  the  Jordan.  Wady  el-Ithm  now 
bore  E.  i°  S.,  while  a  mountain  further  north, 
called  Jebel  el-Ithm  bore  E.  1  °  N.  Then  a  smaller 
wady  comes  down  named  es-Sidr.  To  the  north- 
ward of  this  was  Jebel  esh-Sha'feh,  N.  700  E. ;  and 
still  further  north  our  guides  professed  to  point  out 
Jebel  esh-Sherfih  by  Wady  Ghtirtindel.  On  this 
point,  however,  we  had  doubts. 

"Friday,  April  6. — The  bright  morning  pre- 

R AS  EL  MUSRY.  467 

sented  a  beautiful  view  of  the  sea,  shut  in  among 
mountains  like  a  lake  in  Switzerland.  The  eastern 
mountains  too  glittered  in  the  sun ;  fine,  lofty, 
jagged  peaks,  much  higher  than  those  we  were  to 
climb.  We  set  off  at  six  o'clock,  ascending  W.N.  W. 
We  soon  reached  the  granite  hills,  and  entering 
among  them  over  a  low  ridge,  descended  a  little  to 
the  small  Wady  er-Kizkah  at  6.25.  It  flows  to  the 
left  into  the  Musry,  within  sight  a  little  below. 
Passing  another  slight  ridge,  we  reached  Wady  el- 
Musry  at  a  quarter  to  seven  o'clock.  This  is  a  large 
wady  coming  down  from  the  north  obliquely  along 
the  slope  of  the  mountain,  and  running  down  by 
itself  to  the  sea,  which  it  was  said  to  enter  just 
north  of  Eds  el- Musry,  Our  route  now  lay  up 
along  this  valley,  winding  considerably,  but  on  a 
general  courSe  about  north-west.  The  ridge  upon 
the  left  was  of  yellow  sandstone,  resting  on  granite, 
while  on  the  right  was  granite  and  porphyry.  The 
scenery  around  was  wild,  desolate  and  gloomy; 
though  less  grand  than  we  had  seen  already.  At 
seven  o'clock  limestone  appeared  on  the  left ;  and 
we  turned  short  from  the  Musry  towards  the  left, 
into  a  narrow  chasm  between  walk  of  chalk  with 
layers  of  flint.  Ten  minutes  now  brought  us  to 
the  foot  of  the  steep  and  difficult  ascent ;  so  that 



this  last  ravine  might  well  be  termed  the  gate  of 
the  pass.     The  ascent  is  called  simply  en-Ntikb,  or 
el-'Arktib,  both  signifying  *  the  pass '  up  a  moun- 
tain ;  and  our  guides  knew  no  other  name.     The 
road  rises  by  zigzags  along  the  projecting  point  of 
a  steep  ridge,  between  two  deep  ravines.    It  is  in 
part  artificial ;  and  in  some  places  the  thin  layer  of 
sandstone  has  been  cut  away  twenty  or  thirty  feet 
in  width  down  to  the  limestone  rock.     Portions  of 
this  work  have  probably  been  done  at  the  expense 
of  pious  Mussulmans  to  facilitate  the  passage  of 
the  Haj.     Two  Arabic  inscriptions  on  the  rock, 
one  of  them  at  the  top  of  the  ascent,  apparently 
record  the  author  of  the  work.     Near  the  top  is 
something    like   a    modern  improvement,   a   new 
road  having  been  cut  lower  down  on  the  side  of  the 
ridge,  rising  by  a  more  gradual  ascent/    The  whole 
road  is  said  by  Makrizi  to  have  been  first  made 
by  Ibn  Ahmed  Ibn  Tulfin,  Sultan  of  Egypt  in 
a.d.  868-84. 

"We  reached  the  top  of  the  steep  ascent  at 
eight  o'clock ;  but  continued  to  rise  gradually  for 
half  an  hour  longer,  when  we  came  to  R&s  en- 
Ntikb,  the  proper  '  Head  of  the  Pass.'  Here  how- 
ever we  had  immediately  to  descend  again  by  a 
short  but  steep  declivity,  and  cross  the  head   of 


RAS  EN  NAGB.  469 

Wady  el-Kureikireh  running  off  south  to  Wady 
T^ba',  of  which  it  would  seem  to  be  a  main  branch. 
Ascending  again  along  a  ridge  at  the  head  of  this 
valley,  still  on  a  course  W.N.W.,  we  had  on  our 
right  a  deep  ravine  called  Wady  er-Ridd&deh,  run- 
ning eastward,  a  tributary  of  the  Musry.  At  nine 
o'clock  we  finally  reached  the  top  of  the  whole 
ascent,  and  found  ourselves  on  the  high  level  of 
the  desert  above.  During  the  whole  way  we  had 
many  commanding  views  of  the  gulf  and  of  el- 
'Arabah;  which  latter,  as  seen  from  this  distance, 
seemed  covered  in  parts  with  a  luxuriant  vegeta- 
tion. But  we  had  viewed  it  too  closely  to  be  thus 
deceived.  The  point  where  we  now  were  afforded 
the  last  and  one  of  the  finest  of  these  views.  The 
castle  of  'Akabah  still  bore  S.E.  by  E.,  and  the  mouth 
of  Wady  el-Ithm  E.  by  S.  At  9.25  we  came  to 
the  fork  of  the  roads,  called  Muf&rik  et-Turk,  where 
the  Haj  route  keeps  straight  forward,  while  the 
road  to  Gaza  turns  more  to  the  right." 

The  Marquis  Arconati  describes  fully  Has  Qfireieh, 
and  Jeziret  el  Qtireieh.1  But  he  says  little  of  Akaba, 
except  about  the  castle  and  its  illegible  in  scrip- 
tions.2    Of  the  Wady  Arabah,  in  which  he  spent 

1  See  Diario  in  Arabia  Petrea  (1865)  di  Visconte  Giammartino 
Arconati,  Rome,  1872,  p.  271.  *  Ibid.  pp.  278-84. 



some  days,  en  route  to  Petra,  he  gives  some  in- 
teresting particulars.1 

February  8. — Last  night  Abu  Nabut  gave  us 
some  Yemen  dates  for  dessert.  He  said  he  could 
not  produce  them  before,  or  the  Beduins  would 
have  devoured  them  all.  He  complained  most 
bitterly  of  their  voracity.  They  have  eaten  him 
up  two  whole  loaves  of  sugar,  and  the  poor  man  is 
in  a  most  indignant  frame  of  mind  about  it.  It 
rained  hard  during  the  night,  and  I  daresay  there 
was  a  continuance  of  bad  weather  down  below,  so 
that  we  did  well  to  return.  I  do  not  think  we 
have  had  one  single  fine  day  since  we  left  the 
*  Erin '  and  commenced  our  inland  journey. 

We  started  at  8  a.m.,  turning  off  from  the  main 
valley  up  a  siding,  and  in  about  two  hundred  yards 
came  to  a  bridge  over  a  deep  ravine,  above  which 
the  road  ascended  the  side  of  the  mountain,  just 
like  the  roads  up  the  passes  over  the  Alps.  The 
road  has  been  worked  on  like  them,  and  is  a  very 
pretty  piece  of  engineering.  I  imagined  it  to  have 
been  constructed  by  the  present  Pasha ;  but  I  under- 
stand that  the  whole  is  the  work  of  Abbas  Pasha. 
Here  I  was  told  by  Abu  Nabut  that  it  would  be 

*See  Diario  in  Arabia  Petrea(i865)  di  Visconte  Giammartino 
Arconati,  Rome,  1872,  pp.  294,  296,  297,  300,  302,  303. 

BRIDGE  AT  EL  SA TKH.  47 1 

impossible  for  me  to  make  the  ascent  in  the  takh- 
terawdn,  so  while  our  people  were  loading  I  walked 
on  for  some  twenty  minutes,  when  I  sat  down  to 
rest.  When  the  camels  came  up  I  mounted  the 
one  Milne  usually  rides,  he  preferring  to  walk  a 
little,  and  on  I  rode,  at  first  slowly  for  nearly 
an  hour,  when  I  came  to  a  magnificent  view  of 
" Mount  Sinai"  (Jebel  B4ghir),  and  the  head  of 
the  Gulf.  On  the  road  were  stones  inscribed  with 
thefdtha,  which  I  suppose  served  as  milestones. 

The  road  now  became  more  level,  and  I  rode  on 
briskly  till  9.50,  wfhen  I  came  to  the  summit  of 
the  pass  called  Ras  el  Satkh.  At  this  point  the 
pilgrims  from  Cairo  say  the  fdtha  (prayer)  towards 
my  Mount  Sinai,  which  is  plainly  visible,  and  they 
set  up  stones  one  upon  another  as  memorials.  The 
mountain  is  here  nearly  east — 940  5'  by  azimuth 
compass.  The  elevation  is  about  2000  feet  I  rested 
here  awhile  for  the  others  to  come  up,  and  at  half- 
past  ten  I  got  into  my  takkterawdn,  and  proceeded 
over  an  immense  gravelly,  which  soon  became 
sandy  plain,  in  a  direction  a  little  to  the  north  of 
west.  It  was  almost  perfectly  barren.  At  twelve 
o'clock  we  stopped  to  lunch,  when  I  set  my  watch 
by  the  sun,  and  I  found  it  nearly  quite  right. 

At  12.40  we  went  on  again  over  the  same  dreary 


plain.     Thus  far  we  were  told  it  was  all  called 
el  Satkh,  meaning  "  the  roof,"  but  now  it  is  the 
Tih — always  the  same  dreary  waste,  with  patches 
here  and  there  of  a  little  verdure.     They  call  these 
patches,  wadies,  with  names  which  I  did  not  care 
to  record ;  but  I  could  see  little  difference  in  the 
level.     On  the  road  we  rose  somewhat  at  first,  but 
afterwards  the  elevation  fell  again.     All  the  way 
the  sandy  surface  of  the  rock  was  marked  with 
parallel  camel  tracks,  being  those  of  the  Hadj  !    At 
2.45  we  went  more  to  the  north-west,  still  over 
the  plain,  but  its  extent  being  limited  by  low  hills. 
This,  we  were  informed,  was  Wady  Imshash,  form- 
ing part  of  the  Tih,  and  so  we  went  on,  till  four 
p.m.,  when  we  stopped  for  the  night. 

I  was  very  thankful  to  do  so,  for  I  was  so  cold 
I  hardly  knew  what  to  do.  I  actually  lost  the 
use  of  my  hands,  in  spite  of  my  having  had  silk 
gloves  on,  and  having  kept  them  covered  up  as 
well  as  I  could  in  the  takhterawdn.  Immediately 
the  tent  was  ready  I  lay  down  and  went  to  sleep, 
which  did  me  good,  but  did  not  make  me  warm. 
I  then  went  into  the  other  tent,  where  there  was 
a  good  fire,  over  which  I  toasted  myself  till  the 
dinner  was  ready.  This,  and  a  fire  I  have  had 
brought  into  my  tent,  have  warmed  me  sufficiently 


to  enable  me  to  write  up  my  notes  and  this  letter, 
which  1  trust  you  may  be  able  to  read,  as  luckily 
you  can  often  read  my  writing  when  I  cannot  do 
so  myself.  I  shall  now  have  a  cup  of  tea  and  go 
to  bed.     It  will  be  cold  all  the  way  to  Suez  I 

February  9. — It  was  indeed  cold  during  the 
night  This  morning  the  ground  and  our  tent  are 
covered  with  hoar  frost,  and  the  thermometer  stood 
at  6.30  a.m.,  just  before  sunrise,  at  freezing  point, 
32s.  They  say  that  we  are  in  danger  of  thieves  as 
far  as  Nakhl,  and  so  our  trunks  and  my  writing- 
desk  are  taken  every  night  into  the  other  tent. 
With  the  Hadj  every  year,  goes  a  man  of  Cairo, 
named  Abu  Hal&weh,  who  knows  all  the  places 
where  the  fdtha  is  to  be  said,  on  reaching  which  he 
calls  out  with  a  loud  voice,  "  Fdtha,  Jebel  Ba^jhir" 
— "  F&tha,  Wady  e'  Nur,"  and  so  on.  And  then 
all  the  pilgrims  repeat  together  the  first  chapter 
of  the  Koran,  which  to  them  is  like  our  "  Lord's 
Prayer."  It  was  a  lovely  morning,  but  as  it  was 
still  very  cold,  I  thought  it  better  to  go  on  walking 
than  to  stand  still.  So  I  went  on  slowly  with 
Milne  for  an  hour  and  a  quarter  dawdling  and 
occasionally  standing  still,  but  always  moving  on. 
I  wore  my  Kefiya  over  my  cap,  and  continued  to 
do  so  the  whole  d 


cold,  but  to  keep  off  the  sun !  It  turned  out  a 
regular  hot  day,  which  we  enjoyed  after  the  con- 
tinued wet  and  cold  we  have  experienced  hitherto. 
It  is  cold  again  to-night,  and  we  are  glad  to  have 
a  fire  in  our  tent. 

About  half-past  eleven  a  Beduin  of  the  tribe  of 
H&wi  (plural  H&w&t)  came,  up  to  us,  and  wanted 
to  know  what  we  were  doing  on  his  ground.  He 
was  a  little  chap,  armed  with  an  old  gun,  though  I 
doubt  if  he  had  any  ammunition  for  it,  but  he  had 
lots  of  pluck.  There  seemed  symptoms  of  a  row, 
and  our  people  took  to  their  swords.  Whereupon 
Abu  Nabut  took  the  matter  upon  himself.  It  ap- 
peared that  the  H&wi  wanted  to  supply  us  with 
camels.  Abu  Nabut  did  not  deny  his  right  to  do 
this ;  but  said  we  came  from  Akaba  on  business  of 
the  Effendina  (Khedive),  and  as  there  were  no 
H&w&t  there,  we  took  TowAras.  That  was  all 
very  well,  he  said,  but  he  wanted  to  supply  us  now. 
"  All  right/'  replied  Abu  Nabut ;  "  have  you  got 
the  camels  here  ?  "  "  No ;  but  I  will  bring  them." 
"  Bring  them  then,"  answered  Abu  Nabut.  "  I  will 
to-morrow  or  next  day."  "  But  we  cannot  wait," 
we  said.  "But  you  must  wait,"  answered  the 
H&wi.  Then  with  an  air  of  injured  innocence, 
Abu  Nabut'  came  to  me  and  requested  me  to  note 


down  the  name  of  Suleiman  Salim,  who  wanted 
to  stop  the  Hakim  Bashi  travelling  for  the  Effen- 
dina,  &c,  &c.  This  so  frightened  the  fellow  that 
he  decamped.  We  saw  a  large  number  of  goats 
grazing  on  the  mountain-side  close  by,  and  there- 
fore there  must  be  several  persons  there ;  but  there 
are  no  camels,  and  if  the  H&wi  is  gone  to  fetch 
them,  we,  in  the  meanwhile,  continue  our  way,  and 
by  to-morrow  shall  be  off  his  ground  !  The  tracks 
on  the  road  of  which  I  wrote  yesterday  are  in 
part  caused  by  Abbas  Pasha  having  had  the  stones 
cleared  off  there  when  his  mother  went  to  Mecca. 
What  an  affectionate  son !  I  fancy  he  had  a  little 
game  of  his  own  to  play,  and  made  his  mamma  an 
excuse  so  as  not  to  give  the  Sultan  cause  of  offence. 
In  a  chalk  hill  which  we  crossed  to-day,  he  had 
had  a  cutting  made  to  lower  the  ascent.  On  one 
side  is  a  stone  with  an  Arabic  inscription  in  com- 
memoration of  it,  on  the  other  side  of  the  cutting 
are  a  lot  of  inscriptions,  or  rather  rude  marks,  some 
of  them  very  much  in  the  style  of  the  "  Sinaitic," 
or  of  my  "  Jebel-e'-Nur."  This  chalk  hill  is  called 
Jebel  Mdujar.  On  the  way  Milne  found  some 
hematite  or  iron  ore.  He  has  given  me  speci- 
mens to  show  to  the  Khedive.  I  shall  also  have 
his  drawings  for  the  same  purpose. 




February  10. — A  very  fine  morning,  and  nothing 
like  so  cold  as  yesterday.  At  6.45  a.m.  the  ther- 
mometer stood  at  480.  The  dress  of  the  Sheikhs  is 
very  picturesque  with  its  three  colours,  red,  white 
and  black.  On  my  asking  at  what  time  we  should 
arrive  at  Nakhl  to-morrow,  the  Sheikh  said,  we 
could  not  be  there  till  the  day  after.  On  this  T 
blew  up,  complained  of  their  delay  and  constant 
wish  to  stop,  and  I  finished  by  saying,  I  would  not 
pay  for  more  than  five  days — and  even  this  is  one 
day  more  than  I  bargained  for  at  Cairo.  We 
started  at  7.50,  and  had  a  monotonous  sort  of 
morning,  the  day  being  fine  but  not  at  all  warm. 
In  fact  there  was  a  cold  wind  blowing,  which  made 
me  very  chilly  in  the  takkteraivdn,  and  at  last  just 
at  noon,  I  felt  myself  quite  ill.  The  wind  had 
caught  my  right  arm  and  hand,  though  I  had  three 
coats  on,  and  I  had  an  attack  of  what  seemed  like 
venous  congestion.  My  hand  was  blood  red,  with 
very  little  feeling  in  it.  I  could  not  hold  my  style 
to  write.1 

I  got  down  and  walked  for  upwards  of  an  hour, 
at  times  pretty  sharply,  rubbing  my  hand   and 

1  After  the  serious  illness  from  which  Dr.  Beke  had  so  recently 
recovered,  this  journey  was  altogether  too  arduous  an  undertaking, 
and  had  he  had  to  perform  the  journey  entirely  by  land,  it  is  feared  he 
would  never  have  reached  the  "  Mountain  of  Light" 

WAD  Y  KUREIS.  477 

beating  it  across  my  chest.  At  length  it  recovered 
its  feeling  and  natural  colour,  and  being  now  tired, 
I  got  again  into  my  carriage,  and  wrapped  myself, 
especially  my  right  side,  in  Milne's  railway  rug, 
over  which  Abu  Nabut  put  his  thick  cloak,  so  that 
I  felt  quite  warm.  After  I  had  ridden  about  an 
hour,  we  came  to  Wady  Kureis,  where  is  an  im- 
mensely  deep  well,  and  by  it  a  tank  which  Abbaa 
Pasha  had  had  constructed  for  the  pilgrims.  It  is 
nearly  one  hundred  feet  in  length,  and  some  sixty 
feet  in  width,  and  perhaps  half  as  deep :  along 
one  side  are  troughs  for  camels.  Before  reaching 
this  we  saw  a  herd  of  camels  of  the  Heiwat  going 
down  the  valley  with  only  one  man.  At  this  wady 
the  territory  of  the  H&wat  ends,  and  that  of  the 
Teiydha  begins :  this  continues  to  Nakhl,  where 
commences  that  of  the  Towdra,  to  whom  our 
people  belong.  The  Sheikh  wanted  to  stop  soon 
after  4  p.m.,  but  I  insisted  on  his  going  on,  as  I 
positively  declared  I  would  be  at  Kala'at  e'  Nakhl 
to-morrow,  even  if  we  travelled  to  midnight.  So 
we  went  on  till  5.45  p.m.,  the  sun  having  set  some 
time,  when  I  was  induced  to  stop  on  the  promise  that 
we  should  start  very,  very  early  to-morrow  morning 
and  get  to  Nakhl  by  night.  I  preferred  this  to  going 
on  now ;  as,  if  the  worst  comes  to  the  worst  and 


we  have  to  go  on  by  night,  there  will  be  the  castle 
for  us  to  put  our  beds  up  in,  without  waiting  for 
the  tents  to  be  set  up.  This  evening  I  am  all 
right  again,  and  writing  as  usual  Milne  is  dead 
beat,  having  walked  the  whole  day.  He  does  not 
much  like  the  camel-riding.  I  had  almost  vowed 
I  would  never  mount  a  camel  again  after  my 
experience  of  1 843  at  Tor.  But  I  did  not  feel  any 
inconvenience  from  my  short  ride  the  day  before 
yesterday.     I  almost  liked  it. 

February  11. — This  morning  I  was  getting  out 
of  bed  at  6. is,  when  Hashim  came  in  with  water 
for  me  to  wash  :  the  first  time  on  the  journey  that 
I  have  not  been  up  first — a  great  disgrace,  as  I 
tell  them,  I  the  master,  and  the  eldest !  This 
morning  we  breakfasted  in  the  open  air,  in  order 
that  the  tent  might  be  taken  down  ;  but  they  were 
not  ready  when  I  was,  so  I  and  Milne  walked  on 
at  seven  o'clock.  After  walking  for  about  half  an 
hour,  we  saw  a  few  camels  grazing  belonging  to 
the  Terabin,  of  whom  the  Teiy&ha  appear  to  be  a 
sub-tribe ;  they  went  on  before  us,  and  we  some 
time  afterwards  saw  they  had  one  man  with  them. 
By  and  by  we  came  to  a  large  number  of  camels, 
probably  as  many  as  one  hundred,  grazing  on  our 
left      We   did   not  see   any  people   with   them. 


Our  road  was  a  very  monotonous  one,  like  that  of 
yesterday ;  but  it  was  interesting  to  me,  as  it  gave 
me  an  opportunity — or,  rather,  I  should  say,  it 
caused  me  to  make  careful  observations  of  our 
route,  as  that  on  the  map  which  Mr.  B.  sent 
me  is  altogether  wrong.  I  never  saw  anything  so 
bad.  I  did  not  want  to  be  bothered  with  this,  but 
I  must.  The  sun  was  intensely  hot  to-day,  and 
we  both  got  our  faces  burnt  frightfully. 

We  arrived  at  the  Kala'at  e'  Nakhl  at  5.45. 
My  companion,  Milne,  walked  the  whole  way  I  I 
was  very  tired,  and  went  immediately  into  my 
tent  and  lay  down,  so  that  I  know  nothing  yet 
about  the  place  or  its  inhabitants.  It  is  a  kalla'a 
or  castle,  like  that  of  Akaba,  only  smaller,  and  has 
a  garrison  of  Egyptian  soldiers.  That  is  all  I  can 
say  at  present  about  it. 

February  12. — Very  cold  again  this  morning. 
The  thermometer  is  at  6.45  a.m.  300.  We  are 
now  in  the  great  Wady  el  'Arish — the  Wady  el 
Kebir  "  Quadelquiver,"  of  this  part  of  the  world  : 
a  great  sandy  plain  between  two  ranges  of  chalk 
cliffs.  There  is  plenty  of  water,  but  it  runs  off, 
otherwise  I  do  not  see  why  it  might  not  be  made 
as  fertile  as  the  chalk  hills  of  Kent.  Milne  says 
that  the  soil  is  principally  composed  of  lime  and 


silica,  forming  a  sort  of  loam,  but  there  is  very 
little  alumina  or  clay.  I  hear  that  it  is  very  cold 
here  at  all  times ;  and  that  of  the  Hadj  pilgrims 
who  passed  here  last  month — or  rather,  two  months 
ago — thirty  died  from  the  cold,  and  seventeen  had 
to  be  sent  back  to  Egypt.  As  we  did  not  start  so 
early  as  yesterday,  having  to  supply  ourselves  with 
water,  Milne  and  I  went  into  the  castle.  It  is 
much  smaller  than  that  of  Akaba,  and  as  the  Hadj 
is  past,  there  is  nothing  for  the  garrison  of  forty 
soldiers  to  do ;  so  their  firelocks  are  hung  up  in 
linen  cases  in  the  entrance  hall,  and  they  them- 
selves are  "  at  ease  "  in  their  apartments  I  There 
was  one  fellow  sitting  on  a  seat  in  the  entrance 
wrapped  up  in  his  cloak,  but  he  took  no  notice  of 
us,  nor  we  of  him.  A  man  of  the  place  was  sent 
with  us  by  Abu  Nabut,  and  he  took  us  to  the  top  of 
the  castle.  The  stairs  reminded  me  of  those  lead- 
ing up  to  the  Samaritan  synagogue  at  Shechem  ; 
so  I  was  on  my  guard  on  this  occasion,  and 
went  up  and  down  very  carefully.  Our  guide 
was  also  very  attentive  to  me.  On  the  way  up  we 
saw  a  sakiyeh  worked  by  two  mules,  which  draws 
water  from  an  immense  depth,  and  delivers  it  into 
three  large  tanks,  There  is  another  well  outside 
the  castle,  which  can  be  worked  in  case  of  need. 

K A  LA AT  EL  NAKHL.  481 

On  the  terrace  above  we  had  a  fine  view,  and 
Milne  took  some  angles.  There  is  a  small  village 
adjoining  the  castle,  where  we  saw  lots  of  children 
more  cleanly  dressed  than  those  at  Akaba.  It  must 
be  rather  slow  work  here. 

When  we  came  down  we  were  accosted  by  the 
Haz  Bashi,  who  would  seem  to  have  been  wakened 


up  by  our  appearance,  and  he  accompanied  us  to 
our  tents,  where  we  found  everything  ready  for 
our  departure,  and  after  going  with  us  a  short 
distance  on  foot,  he  took  his  leave,  with  many 
good  wishes  for  our  journey.  This  is  a  very 
interesting  and  important  spot  to  me,  as  being 
the  station  which  I  identify  with  the  "Succoth" 
of  Exodus.1 

We  crossed  the  broad  plain  of  the  Wady  el  'Aiish3 
— in  which  are  several  water  channels,  though 
they  have  not  a  drop  of  water  in  them — and  con- 
tinued all  day  a  most  monotonous  journey,  in  a 
north-westerly  direction.  On  the  way  I  heard  our 
people  speaking  about  Mount  Bdghir — "Mount 
Sinai,  mush  B£ghir,"  as  Abu  Nabut  said.  This 
will  be  the  cry  now,  and  it  will  soon  be  taken  up 
by  all !    About  one  o'clock  we  met  a  woman  with 


1  Exodus  xii.  37. 

2  Isaiah  xxvii.  1 2.    Palmer's  "  Desert  of  the  Exodus,"  pp.  286, 287. 

2  H 


two  children  on  two  camels.  She  was  the  wife  of 
a  soldier  at  Nakhl.  I  certainly  was  surprised  at 
meeting  her,  with  only  one  Arab  driving  the  camels ; 
a  second  one  followed  at  some  distance.  The  Derb 
el  Hadj  is  a  well-trodden  path,  and  perfectly  safe. 

We  arrived  in  Wady  Nethilah  at  5.50  p.m., 
where  we  are  encamped  for  the  night.  It  is  much 
less  cold  here.  On  the  journey  I  wore  my  dark 
spectacles,  and  I  felt  the  benefit  of  them.  Yester- 
day I  was  quite  blinded  by  the  sun,  and  actually 
could  not  see  for  some  time  after  I  had  entered 
the  tent.  I  have  arranged  with  Abu  Nabut  to 
send  my  letters  on  from  to-morrow's  station,  so 
that  they  may  get  to  Suez  in  time  for  the  mail  of 
Sunday.  I  shall  see  and  get  my  letter  to  "The 
Times"  ready  to  send  you.  You  will  of  course 
forward  it  at  once.  I  shall  not  telegraph  to  you 
till  1  get  to  Suez,  but  I  shall  do  so  to  Mr.  Gibbs  if 
I  am  able.  This  letter  will  be  all  I  shall  send  to 
you  now. 

February  13. — We  left  this  morning  at  8.15, 
aud  arrived  at  our  station  in  the  Wady  Hawawiet 
at  4.40  p.m.  It  rained  a  little  in  the  morning,  and 
my  people  wanted  to  stay;  but  I  would  not  let 
them,  as  it  is  absolutely  necessary  my  letters  should 
go  on  to-night  to  Suez.     I  have  prepared  a  tele- 

RAS  EL  GIBAB.  483 

gram  on  the  road  for  Mr.  Gibbs  to  make  use  of: 
therefore  you  will  see  the  news  in  Renter's  tele- 
grams no  doubt.  I  only  truBt  I  shall  find  good 
news  from  you  when  I  arrive.  God  Almighty 
bless  you.     Addio. 

Ras  el  Gibab  {two  days  from  Suez),  February 
14. — I  begin  here  the  last  letter  I  shall  have  to 
write  to  you  on  what  is  properly  to  be  called  my 
"journey,"  with  the  most  gratifying  intelligence 
that  I  have  satisfactorily  determined  the  position 
and  identification  of  Pi-ha-hiroth  —  the  entrance 
to  the  caverns.  It  is  the  Wady  Mahaserat,  which, 
in  my  last  letter,  I  told  you  we  went  up  from  the 
west  side  of  the  head  of  the  Gulf  of  Akaba.  It  was 
only  this  evening  that  Mr.  Milne  gave  me  the  full 
particulars  of  his  trip  to  the  "  Maghara,"  near 
Pharaoh's  Island,  on  the  6th  inst,  the  particulars 
of  which  are  duly  recorded  in  my  route-book. 

After  I  had  done  up  my  letter  last  night  for  Mr. 
Levick  I  gave  it  to  the  messenger,  one  of  the 
Beduina  of  our  party,  who  was  to  carry  it  to  Suez  ; 
after  which  every  one  joined  in  giving  him  instruc- 
tions as  to  where  he  was  to  go,  and  what  he  was 
to  do  when  he  got  to  the  Canal,  where  he  would  be 
sure  to  be  stopped,  as  the  bridge  is  only  opened  for 
passengers  once  a  day.     He  was  to  say  that  it  was 


from  the  Hakim  Bashi,  the  Emir  to  whom  the 
Khedive  gave  the  steamer,  and  that  it  was  for  the 
Bostat-el-Inglese,  for  the  Khawaja  Lebbek,  and  of 
great  importance,  and  then  he  would  be  sure  to  be 
allowed  to  pass  at  once.  Then  the  man,  though 
not  afraid  of  thieves,  had  a  wholesome  dread  of 
hyenas  on  the  road,  so  he  was  supplied  with  a 
pistol,  powder  and  shot.  To  these  Abu  Nabut 
added  a  cloak,  and  some  one  else  a  coat,  to  protect 
the  poor  man  from  the  cold,  and  at  nine  o'clock  he 
started  on  a  swift  camel  or  dromedary.  He  will 
reach  the  bridge  early  this  morning. 

We  started  at  8  a.m.  The  Sheikh  wanted  to 
wait,  as  it  threatened  rain,  but  I  was  inexorable ; 
and  after  all  it  was  fine.  Near  us  yesterday  were 
encamped  a  soldier,  his  wife  and  child,  with  three 
camels.  This  is  a  regular  beaten  road,  as  I  ex- 
plained when  we  were  at  Kala'at  el  Nakhl.  Where 
we  stopped  to  lunch  we  fell  in  with  a  party  of 
Beduins  goiug  to  Suez  with  wood  and  charcoal, 
some  ten  camel  loads.  For  the  charcoal  they  may 
get  as  much  as  one  pound  the  camel  load  ;  for  the 
wood,  four  shillings  only.  One  could  hardly  imagine 
that  this  would  pay  them.  We  are  now  on  our 
way  down  to  Suez,  having  crossed  the  water-part- 
ing between  the  Mediterranean  (Wady  el  'Arish) 

WAD  Y  MA  BASER  A  T.  485 

and  the  Gulf  of  Suez.  Near  the  summit  the  road 
has  been  cleared  of  stones,  and  improved  by  Abbas 
Pasha.  Here  Milne  found  a  vein  of  yellow  ochre 
(an  ore  of  iron),  which  he  gave  me  for  the  Khedive. 
Neither  this  nor  the  other  would  pay  to  work,  but 
I  shall  do  right  to  give  them  to  His  Highness. 

Febwxary  15. — The  last  morning  I  shall  have  to 
write  to  you  before  reaching  Suez,  which  is  now, 
thank  God,  within  sight  I  Before  we  got  to  our 
place  of  encampment  last  night,  we  came  upon  a 
considerable  tract  of  green  grass :  its  colour  was 
remarkable,  and  took  us  quite  by  surprise  !  I  am 
convinced  that  formerly  this  country  was  fertile, 
and  that  it  might  be  made  so  again.  But  when 
once  we  had  crossed  the  water-parting,  we  came 
into  a  sandy  region  extending  to  the  Gulf  of  Suez, 
where  vegetation  is  difficult,  and  almost  impossible. 
Our  Beduins  collected  a  lot  of  wood  on  the  way  to 
serve  for  their  fires  to-night,  as  they  will  find  none 
further  on.  In  the  sand  we  found  stunted  plants, 
with  immensely  long  roots  to  them  :  one  measured 
as  much  as  nine  yards  in  a  straight  line  t  These 
are  the  things  to  keep  the  sand  together. 

Thinking  over  Milne's  report  about  those  caves 
at  Mabaserat,  I  asked  Abu  Nabut  the  meaning  of 
"  Mahaserat,"  when  the  fellow  began  telling  me  a 


long  cock  and  a  bull  story  about  Moses  and  Pharaoh 
taken  from  the  Kor&n,  and  so  explaining  the  name. 
This  shows  you  how  soon  legends  arise.  About 
noon  to-day  we  came  in  sight  of  the  sea,  and  I 
cried  out,  like  the  ten  thousand  Greeks,  "  Odkaaaa" 
(the  sea) !  After  that  we  kept  coming  down,  down, 
so  that  on  the  whole  we  have  descended  some  900 
feet.  The  difference  of  temperature  was  very  soon 
felt,  and  it  was  warm  in  spite  of  a  strong  wind 
blowing.  On  the  other  side  of  the  mountains  the 
same  wind  would  have  frozen  us  to  death.  Milne 
has  made  a  sketch  of  me  to-day  in  my  tdkhtera- 
wdn ;  it  will  give  you  an  idea  of  the  conveyance, 
and  others  too,  who  may  feel  inclined  to  follow 
my  example  when  they  perform  a  pilgrimage  to  my 
Mount  Sinai.  I  fear  I  could  not  have  performed 
the  journey  without  it. 

Suez,  February  15. — I  have  only  time  to  inform 
you  of  my  safe  arrival  here.  For  your  dear  letters, 
and  all  you  have  done  for  me,  as  I  knew  you 
would,  you  have  my  hearty  thanks.  The  steamer 
from  Bombay  is  behind-hand,  so  Milne  will  go 
on  by  her  perhaps  to-night.  The  '  Erin '  has  not 
returned !  She  is  at  Tor,  so  my  letters  by  her  will 
come  on  after  me.  I  have  completed  a  rough 
sketch  of  the  letter  for  "  The  Times."     I  conclude 


that  journal  will  be  the  best  to  send  it  to,  but  I 
leave  you  absolute  discretion  to  do  what  you  like 
with  it. 

Now,  perhaps,  that  these  important  matters  have 
been  thus  brought  by  me  to  public  notice  in  "  The 
Times,"  it  may  be  worth  the  while  of  others  to 
follow  up  the  great  discoveries  I  have  been  per- 
mitted to  make,  and  complete  them  more  in  detail 
than  it  has  been  in  my  power  to  do. 

February  16. — So  our  poor  friend  Livingstone 
is  dead  !  This  is  sad  news  indeed.  I  have  made 
up  my  mind  to  start  for  Cairo  to-morrow.  I  cannot 
wait  to  see  Milne  off;  but  Mr.  Andrews,  the  chief 
clerk  of  the  P.  and  0.  Company,  is  very  kind  and 
will  attend  to  him.  Ho  takes  on  the  instruments 
for  the  Royal  Geographical  Society,  and  the  geolo- 
gical specimens.1  I  see  that  you  have  inserted  my 
"  Notes  on  Egypt "  in  the  "  Athenaeum,"  and  that 
the  editor,  as  usual,  has  cut  put  all  that  concerns 
me  and  my  expedition.  I  have  no  time  to  answer 
your  letters  to-day,  being  fully  occupied  with  all 
our  friends  here,  and  I  have  still  some  observations 
to  make.  I  find  that,  after  all,  Mahaserat  really 
means  what  Abu  Nabut  said,  so  that  I  have  a  very 
strong  case.    I  shall  have  to  fight  lots  of  people 

1  Presented,  by  Dr.  Beke's  desire,  to  the  British  Museum. 


when  I  get  to  England;  but  I  shall  have  the 
majority  on  my  side.  I  have  done  what  I  wished, 
and  am  truly  thankful  for  it. 

Midnight. — I  am  truly  grieved  to  learn  such 
bad  news  of  your  health.  The  trouble  and  anxiety 
I  have  unfortunately  caused  you  have,  I  feel,  been 
greatly  instrumental  in  increasing  your  illness.  I 
only  hope,  when  I  return  home,  we  may  be  able  to 
get  you  well  again. 

(     4»9     ) 




Cairo,  February  1 7. — To  go  back  to  our  last  day's 
journey  to  Suez,  which  commenced  at  7.30  in  the 
morning.  We  proceeded  eastward  towards  the 
bridge  over  the  Suez  Canal,  which  has  caused  the 
Hadj  route  to  be  diverted  from  its  former  course, 
to  the  one  on  which  we  travelled,  being  to  the 
south  of  the  old  road.  At  10.30  we  came  to  the 
bridge,  which  is  a  miserable  concern,  quite  unworthy 
of  so  great  an  undertaking.  It  is  made  of  roughly 
hewn  timbers  laid  across  four  iron  boats,  two  on 
each  side ;  between  which  a  movable  platform  laid 
on  three  other  boats  is  dragged  by  ropes,  and 
then  rafters  run  out  to  support  a  sort  of  portcullis, 
which  is  lowered  down,  and  then  planks  laid  to 
make  a  connected  roadway  —  altogether  a  most 
barbarous  affair.  We  were  half  an  hour  before  we 
got  across.  Abu  Nabut  had  sent  most  of  our  Arabs 
on  in  front  to  help  to  pull  the  boats  into  their 
places  and  so  expedite  matters. 



After  crossing  we  proceeded  over  the  fresh  water 
canal  and  along  its  side,  between  it  and  the  salt 
marshes  at  the  head  of  the  Gulf,  which  they  are 
attempting  to  render  fertile ;  but  it  will  be  a  long 
time  indeed  before  they  succeed  in  this.  We  then 
crossed  the  marsh  itself,  and  so  soon  as  we  got  on 
solid  ground  we  stopped  to  lunch,  and  then  con- 
tinued our  journey,  reaching  Suez  at  2  p.m. 

As  we  entered  the  town  we  were  told  by  some 
Beduins  that  our  messenger  arrived  safely  on  Sun- 
day morning ;  but  this  we  found  not  to  be  exactly 
the  fact,  it  having  been  Sunday  afternoon.  Never- 
theless, it  would  appear  that  Mr.  Levick  did  not 
forward  my  telegram  to  Mr.  Tuck  till  Monday 
morning,  out  of  consideration,  perhaps,  for  poor 
Tuck,  who  has  been  at  death's  door  since  I  left. 
Instead  of  going  to  the  hotel,  I  decided  on  encamp- 
ing on  an  open  space  at  the  back  of  the  town 
called  "the  camp."  During  the  afternoon  lots  of 
hadjis  from  Mecca  arrived,  and  pitched  their  tents 
around  us. 

I  have  already  told  you  that  I  left  Suez  at  8 
o'clock  this  morning,  after  having  thanked  all  my 
good  friends  for  their  kind  assistance,  and  wished 
them  "  good  bye."  Abu  Nabut  came  on  with  me 
by  train  to  act  as  courier.    You  suggest  that  I 


should  give  a  lecture  here.  If  I  were  a  ready 
speaker  I  would ;  but  I  should  have  to  write  it  out, 
and  I  have  not  the  time  for  this.  On  my  arrival 
here  I  met  Mr.  Rogers,  who  was  kindly  coming  down 
to  the  station  in  his  carriage  to  meet  me.  Mr. 
Gibbs  also  came  up  and  welcomed  me  most  cor- 
dially. This  resulted  in  my  going  in  to  dine  at 
the  Consulate  and  to  tell  them  all  the  news.1 

February  18. — My  first  visit  this  morning  was, 
of  course,  to  Nubar  Pasha.  He  was  delighted  to 
see  me,  I  might  almost  say  in  raptures,  so  glad  was 
he  to  be  relieved  from  the  anxiety  and  responsibility 
he  had  incurred  on  my  account,  believing,  not  un- 
naturally from  the  non-appearance  of  the  'Erin/ 
that  some  accident  had  happened  to  me.  "  Never 
again,"  said  he,  "  would  he  do  a  good  natured  thing 
for  any  foreigner!"  Had  I  been  lost,  he  would 
have  been  deemed  my  " assassin"  and  so  on.  I 
had  to  appease  him  as  well  as  I  could,  and  to  tell 
him  that  I  knew  his  "  bonttf  "  would  not  allow  him 
to  keep  his  pledge.  He  tells  me  he  only  heard  of 
the  safety  of  the  '  Erin '  two  days  ago.  It  appears 
that  the  Captain  ran  short  of  coal,  and  this,  to- 

1  Mr.  Rogers  has  confirmed  the  meaning  of  "  Mahaserat,"  as 
being  the  "  hemming  in,"  the  "  driving  up  into  a  corner ; M  so  that 
Abu  Nabut's  story  is  correct. 

492  DISCO  VER  V  OF  MOUNT  SIN  A/. 

getber  with  very  foul  weather,  had  delayed  them  so 
much  that  they  with  difficulty  reached  Tor  at  all. 

During  the  last  week  there  have  been  marriages 
in  the  Khedive's  family,  and  fantasia  ketir — fes- 
tivities without  end,  so  that  public  business  has 
been  a  little,  or  rather,  a  great  deal  neglected.  His 
Excellency  asked  me  no  end  of  questions  about  my 
journey.  My  description  of  the  fertility  of  Madian 
(Midian)  and  Akaba  interested  him  very  much 
indeed ;  also  my  opinion  of  the  possibility  of  fer- 
tilizing the  Tih,  which  I  contend  is  not  very  much 
worse  than  Kent — "  the  garden  of  England  " — as 
regards  soil,  the  great  drawback  being,  of  course, 
the  comparative  want  of  water.  But  water  is  there, 
if  they  only  knew  how  to  utilize  it,  and  if  once 
they  planted  trees,  the  rain  would  increase,  as  it 
has  already  done  in  other  parts  of  Egypt.1  The 
latter  part  of  our  conversation,  which  lasted  up- 
wards of  an  hour,  turned  upon  "  miracles,"  respect- 
ing which  his  belief  is  much  the  same  as  mine, 
namely,  that  "all  things  are  miracles."  I  spoke 
of  my  compagnon  de  voyage  as  a  perfect  man  of 
science,  who  would  not  believe  in  things  contrary 
to  what  is  called  the  laws  of  nature,  and  who  was, 
therefore,  dissatisfied  at  our  not  having  found  a 

1  See  w  The  Khedive's  Egypt,"  p.  6 1 ,  and  "  Egypt  as  it  is,"  pp.  352-354. 


volcano — to  which  he  replied,  "  II  est  un  savant 
m^crdant,  tandis  que  vous,  M.  Beke,  vous  6tes  un 
savant  croyant,"  to  which  I  answered,  "Plut6t 
croyant  que  savant."  This  brought  me  a  hearty 
squeeze  of  the  hand,  and  so  we  parted. 

All  the  people  here  seem  full  of  my  discoveries ; 
and  Abu  Nabut,  who  is  now  the  prince  of  drago- 
mans, is  in  great  request,  my  discoveries  losing 
nothing  by  the  manner  in  which  he  relates  them. 
The  welcome  and  congratulations  I  receive  on  all 
sides  are  most  cordial  and  gratifying.  I  hear  that 
the  British  Consulate  here  is  abolished,  and  my 
friend  Rogers  has  been  offered  the  Consulate  at 
Buenos  Ayres,  where  his  profound  knowledge  of 
Eastern  affairs  would  be  lost,  and  he  would  have  to 
begin  another  line  of  study,  so  he  has  refused.1  But 
this  is  a  matter  with  which  the  Foreign  Office  does 
not  concern  itself;  its  practice  being  always  to  put 
the  square  peg  into  the  round  hole,  and  vice  versa. 

I  have  now  been  to  call  on  General  Stanton, 
who  received  me  in  a  very  friendly  manner,  asking 
me  a  good  deal  about  my  journey ;  but  I  did  not 
altogether  like  his  manner.  He  twitted  me  with 
not  having  brought  back  some  of  the  sacrificial 

1  Mr.  E.  J.  Rogers  was  soon  after  appointed  Director  of  Public 
Instruction  in  Cairo  by  the  KheMive  of  Egypt. 



bones.  The  afternoon  was  taken  up  in  receiving 
visits  from  many  of  my  very  good  friends  here ; 
but,  hearing  Colonel  Gordon  (Chinese  Gordon)  was 
in  Cairo,  I  managed  to  go  and  call  on  him.  He  is  so 
like  our  friend  Major  Wilson,  that  for  the  moment 
I  thought  it  was  the  Major;  and  he  himself  ad- 
mitted the  likeness.  Colonel  Gordon  is  a  man  of 
middle  height,  sparely  but  strongly  built,  and  giv- 
ing little  indication  of  the  strength,  both  of  sinews 
and  constitution,  which  has  borne  him  so  far  un- 
scathed through  so  many  hardships.  In  complexion 
he  is  still  comparatively  fair  and  fresh.  He  is  quite 
youthful  in  appearance,  with  regular  features,  brown 
hair,  and  bright  keen  eyes.  We  had  half  an  hour's 
friendly  conversation,  during  which  we  spoke  of  Sir 
Samuel  Baker's  expedition  having  cost  a  total  of 
,£475,000 ;  but  he  said  he  thought  the  real  cost  was 
not  more  than  half  that  sum.  However,  even  this 
is  a  good  big  sum  for  having  done  what  Gordon 
has  now  to  undo !  He  expressed  a  wish  to  know 
my  views  about  the  Upper  Nile,  the  lakes,  &c,  and 
proposed  that  we  should  adjourn  till  to-morrow 
morning,  when  we  could  meet  at  his  room,  where 
he  has  a  large  map.  Gordon  knows  all  about  us 
from  our  friend  Dr.  Stevenson  of  Patrixbourne,  and 
says  he  has  seen  our  old  house  at  "  Bekesbourne." 


I  am  told  there  was  a  large  American  party  here 
a  few  days  ago,  a  Dr.  Bartlett  and  company,  who 
were  very  sorry  they  had  missed  me.  Apropos  of 
Dean  Stanley's  "  three  low  peaks,"  I  have  just  seen 
Abdullah  Joseph,  who  was  the  Dean's  dragoman 
eighteen  years  ago,  and  went  with  him  to  Petra, 
passing  Jebel-e'-Niir,  and  he  tells  me  that  it  is  a 
common  Arab  tradition  that  this  is  the  true  Sinai ; 
and  yet  he  never  told  Dean  Stanley,  nor,  according 
to  his  account,  has  he  mentioned  it  to  any  other 
traveller.  I  cannot  make  this  out.  The  man  says, 
and  not  without  some  show  of  reason,  that  the  Arab 
tradition  is  more  to  be  trusted  to  than  the  Christian 
one ;  because  they  have  had  it  from  father  to  son. 

Februaiy  i 9. — I  am  even  more  tired  to-day  than 
I  was  yesterday,  though  I  have  done  nothing  to 
make  me  so.  The  fatigue  of  my  journey,  which  I 
withstood  so  manfully,  is  now  telling  on  me.  Mr. 
Milne,  I  hear,  left  Alexandria  yesterday  morning 
for  Southampton.  He  will  probably  be  in  Eng- 
land as  soon  as  this  letter.  This  morning  I  re- 
sumed  my  conversation  with  Colonel  Gordon,  and 
have  been  talking  "  Upper  Nile  "  with  him.  He 
leaves  for  Suez  to-morrow  morning,  and  thence 
proceeds  by  sea  to  Suakin,  and  on  by  land  to 
Khartum,  his  object  being  to  reach  Gondokoro  as 


quickly  as  possible,  and  to  proceed  up  the  river 
Nile  to  where  it  is  said  to  be  navigable  as  far  as 
the  Albert  Nyanza. 

In  the  evening,  just  as  I  was  going  to  bed, 
Colonel  Gordon  called  again  on  me.  He  said  he 
could  not  leave  without  saying  good-bye  to  me. 
We  had  some  very  interesting  conversation  about 
his  expedition.  I  recommended  him  not  to  be  in 
a  hurry,  my  experience  of  African  character  having 
taught  me  that  such  work  as  his,  to  be  sure,  must 
be  slow.  He  replied  that  he  was  prepared  to 
devote  himself  to  his  task,  and  to  leave  his  bones 
in  Africa,  if  it  were  so  to  be.  Taking  up  your 
little  Bible  from  the  table,  he  said  that  was  his 
companion  and  guide.  He  promised  to  write  to 
me,  and  we  parted  good  friends  I  trust. 

[Colonel  Gordon  is  now  Gordon  Pasha,  and  from 
the  reports  that  have  since  reached  us  from  time  to 
time  it  has  been  seen  that  he  has  fully  redeemed 
his  vow ;  for  not  only  has  he  ably  and  thoroughly 
accomplished  the  task  he  then  set  himself,  but  has 
even  made  his  expedition,  so  far  from  being  an 
expense  to  the  Khedive,  actually  pay  its  own  ex- 
penses, and  a  source  of  revenue  to  Egypt.  His 
work  in  Eastern  Intertropical  Africa,  thus  far,  has 
been  preparatory  to  that  on  which  he  is  now  so 


earnestly  engaged,  namely,  the  total  abolition  of 
the  slave  trade.  With  such  absolute  authority 
as  the  Khe'dive  has  recently  intrusted  to  him — by 
appointing  him  Governor-General  of  the  Soudan 
for  life,  and  having  raised  him  to  the  rank  of  a 
Pasha — there  can  be  very  little  doubt  that  he  will 
do  much  to  assist  this  glorious  object  If  not  en- 
tirely successful  in  this  work,  which  is  one  hardly 
within  the  power  of  any  single  human  being  to 
accomplish  in  a  lifetime,  he  will  at  all  events  have 
done  a  great  work  in  developing  commerce  and 
civitisation  within  the  regions  of  Eastern  Inter- 
tropical Africa. 

Gordon  Pasha's  journals  are  said  to  be  in  course 
of  preparation  for  publication,  and  will  doubtless 
be  looked  forward  to  with  deep  interest  by  all  who 
feel  any  concern  in  African  matters.] 

February  20. — I  am  back  just  in  time  to  meet 
the  Nile  travellers,  who  are  returning  from  Upper 
Egypt,  and  will  now  be  proceeding  to  Palestine 
via  my  Mount  Sinai  and  Petra.  In  the  course  of 
conversation  with  Cook's  manager,  Mr.  Howard  and 
Abu  Nabut,  I  learned  that  not  only  is  thunder  said 
to  be  heard  by  the  pilgrims  on  their  way  back  from 


e'-Nur ;  and  that  there  is  a  tradition  that  when 
Moses  was  crossing  Wady  el-Tih,  he  saw  the  pillar 
of  fire  on  the  summit  of  this  mountain,  which  is 
the  reason  for  its  name.  You  will  recollect  that 
when  at  Akaba  I  asked  the  origin  of  the  name, 
but  could  not  get  any  satisfactory  explanation. 
Such  is  almost  invariably  the  case.  You  must 
leave  these  people  to  tell  their  story  their  own  way. 
If  you  put  leading  questions  or  ask  for  explana- 
tions, you  are  almost  certain  to  be  misled.  The 
truth  of  all  these  traditions  is  not  at  all  the  ques- 
tion. It  is  the/ac(  of  their  existence  that  concerns 
me.  If  I  were  to  speculate  on  the  subject,  it  might 
be  objected  that  all  this  was  pure  imagination ; 
whereas  I  have  now  simply  to  relate  facts,  and 
leave  others  to  draw  their  own  conclusions. 

I  am  also  happy  to  be  able  to  meet  one  of  Gene- 
ral Stanton's  objections  or  cavils  respecting  the 
sacrifices.  The  Arabs  continue  to  perform  sacrifices 
at  the  present  day ;  it  would  therefore  have  been 
preposterous  for  me  to  have  brought  away  with 
me  the  Iwrns  of  an  animal  that  might,  for  aught  I 
know,  have  been  killed  and  eaten  a  few  months 
ago  I  But  I  learned  that  there  is  no  stated  period 
for  making  these  sacrifices  on  Jebel-e'-Nur,  as  there 
is  on  Mount  Arafat  by  Mecca.     Those  performed 

JEBEL-E-NUR.  499 

on  Jebel-e'-Nur  are  ex  voto,  or  by  way  of  thanks- 
giving after  recovery  from  illness,  or  in  consequence 
of  any  good  fortune.1    This  explains  the  visit  of 

1  "  The  last  number  of  the  Compta  Haulm  of  the  Academy  of 
Inscriptions  and  Belles-Lettres  in  Paris  contained  an  interesting 
attempt  made  by  M.  Joseph  Halevy  to  decipher  in  their  entirety 
the  graffiti  to  be  found  on  rocks  in  tile  desert  of  Safa,  situated  south- 
east of  Damascus.  Mr.  Cyril  Graham,  had  signalised  them  for  the 
first  time  in  1857,  and  twenty-one  of  them  were  published  in  an  im- 
perfect state  in  the  Transaction!  of  the  German  Oriental  Society, 
Ten  years  later  Dr.  Wetzstein,  at  that  time  Prussian  Consul  in 
Damascus,  made  copies  of  260  of  tbem,  twelve  of  which  are  to  be 
found  in  his  Diary  in  the  Hauran,  Berlin,  i860.  In  the  following 
year,  and  in  1862,  Count  de  Vogue,  French  Ambassador  at  Vienna, 
and  M.  Waddington,  late  Minister  of  Public  Instruction  in  Paris, 
both  members  of  the  French  Institute,  took  copies  of  some  hundreds 
of  these  inscriptions,  402  of  which  have  lately  been  published  by  the 
former  in  the  second  series  of  his  work,  '  La  Syrie  Centrale.'  The 
letters  having  some  resemblance  to  those  of  (he  Himyaritic  inscrip- 
tions, two  German  Orientalists  tried  to  attribute  the  graffiti  to  the 
tribes  of  Saba,  who,  as  it  is  supposed,  came  to  Safe  from  Yemen  to- 
wards the  beginning  of  the  first  century  of  the  Christian  era,  and 
accordingly  they  based  the  decipherment  of  them  on  the  language 
of  the  Himyaritic  inscriptions.  Their  attempt,  however,  did  not 
lead  to  any  satisfactory  results.  M.  Halevy  thinks  that  those 
graffiti  were  traced  by  the  Arabic  tribe  Thamood  who  served  aa 
mercenaries  in  the  Roman  army.  They  contain,  according  to  him, 
mostly  proper  names  with  devotional  formula;,  similar  to  those  of 
the  Sinaitic  inscriptions.  We  shall  quote  the  translation  of  a  few 
of  them  :  '  By  An'am  Ablam,  son  of  the  son  of  Am,  son  of  'Ab- 
deel,  son  of  Wahib,  son  of  'Abdeel.'  'By  Ofah,  aon  of  Carib,  in 
memory  of  his  mother.'  Some  of  them  finish  witli  the  words,  'In 
memory  of  all  the  relations  (I),  friends  (1).  May  there  be  peace 
with  the  others.'  Others  have  the  words  :  '  He  has  accomplished 
his  vow;'  and 'He  has  done  (that),  may  he  be  pardoned.'  As  to 
the  language  of  these  graffiti,  M.  Halevy  believes  it  to  be  inter- 
mediate between  the  Arabic  and  the  Northern  Semitic  dialects. 
We  find  here  the  conjunction  9  as  in  Arabic  and  the  Sabean  idiom, 
as  well  as  a  great  number  of  proper  names  which  are  in  use  in  those 


Sidi  Ali  ibn  'Elim,  who,  I  am  told,  was  a  Moslem 
commander  in  the  first  ages  of  Islam,  like  Abu 
Obeida — whose  tomb  you  and  I  saw  in  the  valley 
of  the  Jordan,  and  which  you  photographed.1  I 
dare  say  the  Cufic  inscription  we  found  at  the  foot 
of  the  mountain  may  tell  us  something  about  this. 
I  must  try  and  get  a  squeeze  taken  of  it. 

Colonel  Gordon  has  not  yet  gone.    He  has  seen 
my  article  in  the  Athenmim?  and  does  not  think 

and  the  1  as  suffix  of  the  third  person  masculine,  occur  in  these 
inscriptions  as  in  Hebrew.  There  are,  however,  words  which  are 
peculiar  to  the  language  of  the  graffiti,  e.g.  QJJ9,  which  occurs  often, 
and  which  M.  Hal6vy  translates  with  '  to  consecrate  something  in 
memory  of  somebody.'  No  name  of  any  God  is  mentioned  directly 
(we  find  only  in  the  formation  of  proper  names  ^NT^P,  'servant 
of  El,'  and  ]D  NJ^  '  confiding  in  Loo  %  and  no  cross  or  any  other 
religious  symbol,  as  is  the  case  in  the  Christian  inscriptions  of  Syria, 
is  to  be  found.  M.  HaleVy  concludes  from  this  fact  that  the  in- 
scriptions must  have  been  written  at  a  time  when  heathenism  was 
already  given  up  by  the  tribes  that  inscribed  them  without  their 
having  been  as  yet  converted  to  Christianity.  That  would  be  to- 
wards the  end  of  the  third  century  a.d.  '  At  that  time/  he  says, 
1  Christianity  became  the  official  religion  of  the  Empire  ;  doubt  and 
scepticism  penetrated  amongst  those  Arabic  tribes  which  were  the 
allies  of  Rome,  and  amongst  whom  for  a  certain  time  a  kind  of  vague 
Deism  was  .prevalent,  until  the  day  when  they  disappeared,  having 
been  absorbed  by  the  great  migrations  which  had  token  place  in 
those  countries.'  This  last  supposition  will  have  to  be  proved  by 
some  more  valid  arguments,  which  the  author  will  probably  pro- 
duce in  his  promised  extended  essay  on  the  Safa  graffiti.  M.  J. 
Derenbourg,  member  of  the  Institute,  gave  in  a  previous  communi- 
cation to  the  Gomptes  Rendu*  the  decipherment  of  some  letters  of 
these  graffiti,  the  chief  point  of  which  was  the  recognition  of  the 
word  ]2  'son,'  read  "O  hy  German  scholars. n — Athtnceum,  i6th 
March  1878. 

1  Mrs.  Beke's,  "  Jacob's  Flight,*  p.  285. 

*  Athen<eum,  24th  January  1874. 


there  is  anything  in  it  the  Viceroy  would  be  offended 
with,  as  his  policy  with  respect  to  the  annexation 
of  all  this  part  of  Africa  is  well  known  and  under- 
stood. In  fact.  Lieutenant  Baker  openly  declared 
it  in  his  paper  read  before  the  Royal  Geographical 
Society,  a  notice  of  which  appeared  in  the  Times. 

Last  night  I  saw  the  carriage  of  some  big- wig  or 
other  pass  by  the  hotel,  preceded  by  four  Kawdsses, 
the  two  middle  ones  carrying  their  sticks,  as  usual, 
and  the  other  two,  torches.  It  was  a  pretty  sight, 
and  caused  the  natives  as  it  passed  to  exclaim, 
"  Mashallah  !"  I  met  Captain  Kirk,  a  nephew  of 
Mr.  Merceron's,  in  the  Esbekiah  Gardens  to-day, 
who  is  staying  at  my  hotel.  He  tells  me  he  saw 
my  nieces  a  few  days  ago  at  his  aunt's,  Ac. 
We  talked  conversation  talk.  He  is  going  to  Bag- 
dad and  Persia,  though  what  for  I  know  not.  I 
have  been  showing  Mr.  Frank  Dillon  my  com- 
panion's sketches,  which  he  looks  on  as  very  credit- 
able and  effective.  Fedrigo  Pasha  and  I  have 
exchanged  visits,  but  as  yet  without  meeting. 

I  mean  to  write  to  my  friend  Professor  Fleischer 
of  Leipzig  telling  him  of  my  discovery,  and  the 
traditions  connected  with  it,  and  asking  him  what 
he  knows  about  the  subject  I  fancy  that  Cufic 
inscription  would  have  told  me  something ;   not 


going  back  to  the  time  of  Moses,  but  perhaps 
recording  the  visit  of  Ali  lbn  'Elim,  some  thousand 
years  ago.  I  spoke  to  Rogers  about  Gharrel-e>- 
Nahhil  [at  Succoth],  and  he  says  that  it  means 
"  the  Torrent  of  the  Palm  Grove."  This  shows  that 
not  only  a  palm  tree  (Nakhal),  but  a  palm  grove 
(Nakhil)  must  have  existed  in  former  times,  where 
now  no. palm  trees  are  found,  and  that  therefore  the 
vegetation  was  greater  then  than  it  is  now.  The 
Khddive  is  not  at  Abdin  just  now,  so  that  I  do  not 
know  when  I  shall  be  able  to  see  His  Highness. 

February  22. — When  I  was  thanking  Mr.  Gibbs 
for  sending  on  my  news  from  Mr.  Tuck,  he  showed 
l  me   the   list   of  the  new  Ministry.     Sir   Stafford 

1  Northcote  is  Chancellor  of  the  Exchequer,  I  see ;  but 

'  I  doubt  whether  he  will  do  anything  for  me.    My 

"  friends "  seem  inclined  to  do  nothing  for  me, 
much  as  I  have  done  for  them  in  times  past. 

I  met  Nubar  Pasha  to-day,  and  congratulated 
}  him  upon  the  safety  of  the  '  Erin.'     Availing  my- 

self of  this  opportunity  I  begged  him  not  to  delay 
speaking  to  the  Khedive  about  me,  and  my  desire 
to  pay  my  respects  to  His  Highness,  as  I  said  I  was 
anxious  to  leave  by  the  next  mail  for  England, 
His  Excellency  replied  that  he  had  not  yet  had  an 
opportunity,  but  would  do  as  I  wished.     I  have 


heard  something  more  about  that  second  mountain 
(Eratdwa),  seen  by  Milne  from  the  summit  of  Jebel 
Bighir,  which  you  will  recollect  Abu  Nabut  spoke 
of  as  Horeb,  with  Rephidim.  I  suspect  that  Cufic 
inscription  must  be  fully  a  thousand  years  old,  if 
not  more. 

To-day  I  spent  an  hour  in  the  Esbekiah  Gardens. 
You  would  be  surprised  to  see  how  prettily  they 
are  laid  out  with  water,  grottos,  waterfalls  and  par- 
terres, and  in  the  centre  a  kiosque,  where  a  military 
band  plays  three  times  a  week,  as  is  the  custom 
at  Nice,  so  that  it  is  quite  a  pleasant  lounge.  I 
took  a  chair  and  sat  down,  for  which  I  paid  one 
piastre  (two  and  a  half  pence),  and  listened  to  the 
music.  They  played  "  La  Donna  e  Mobile  "  very 
well ;  but  after  that,  we  had  some  Turkish  music, 
which  was  barbarous  enough.  There  were  crowds 
of  people,  and  among  them  a  good  sprinkling  of 
native  women!  It  is  the  last  day  of  the  Greek 
Carnival,  so  there  were  some  masks,  but  very 
trumpery  affairs. 

February  23. — I  am  going  to  make  a  rush  to  ste 
the  Khedive,  who  is  at  Abdin,  I  hear.  1 1  p.m. — 
I  have  been  to  Abdin  and  seen  Murad  Pasha,  the 
Master  of  the  Ceremonies,  to  whom  I  expressed  my 
wish  for  an  audience  of  His  Highness.     He  asked 


me  to  wait  a  few  minutes,  when  he  returned  and 
said  that  His  Highness  was  engaged  just  then,  but 
would  see  me  on  Wednesday  morning  at  nine 
o'clock.     So  until  then  I  must  be  content  to  wait. 

February  25. — On  my  presenting  myself  at  the 
palace  this  morning,  I  found  Mr.  Frank  Dillon 
and  a  number  of  other  persons  awaiting  audiences ; 
but  His  Highness  could  not  receive  them,  and 
although  I  was  requested  to  wait,  the  audience  was 
ultimately  postponed  till  to-morrow,  on  account  of 
the  Khddive  being  so  very  occupied  with  the 
Foreign  Consuls.  I  hear  there  is  a  disturbance  at 
the  palace  to-day  about  the  modification  of  the 
"  capitulations."1  The  other  Powers  generally  have 
agreed  to  the  proposed  changes,  but  France  holds 
out  [but  finally  in  1875,  under  the  pressure  of  a 
threat  of  the  Egyptian  Government  to  close  the 
old  mixed  Tidjaret  Courts,  and  so  leave  French 
citizens  without  means  of  redress  against  natives 
or  foreigners,  the  measure  was  agreed  to]  ;  and 
Nubar  Pasha,  who  is  very  fiery,  used  some  very 
strong  expressions  with  respect  to  France.  Alto- 
gether it  is  not  a  very  auspicious  time  for  seeking 
a  farewell  audience  of  the  Khedive. 

I  have  come  to  the  conclusion  that^ib  Bdghir 

1  McCoan's  "  Egypt  as  it  is,"  p.  290. 


is  the  proper  spelling  of  the  name,  though  what  the 
meaning  is  I  cannot  make  out  Hashim  wanted 
to  make  it  iU  Bakir,  pronounced  here  Bagir ;  but 
he  is  certainly  wrong,  I  should  never  have  written 
it  with  an  "r,"  Barghir,  in  the  first  instance, 
had  there  not  been  a  Lghain,  as  in  GAabagAib, 
when,  if  I  mistake  not,  we  put  an  "  r  "  before  the 
second  gh,  which  is  wrong.  But  the  gh  sounds 
exactly  as  if  there  were  an  "  r  "  in  it.  I  am  told 
that  Mount  Sinai  is  called  in  the  Kor&n  "  Tor 
Sinai/'  and  that  Mount  Tabor  is  called  to  this  day 
"  Tor  Tabor."  Tor9  therefore,  must  mean  "  moun- 
tain.9' I  note  this  simply  as  a  memorandum. 
"  Erat6wa,"  the  name  of  the  second  mountain  near 
Mount  B£ghir,  on  the  other  side  of  Wady  Ithem,  is 
said  to  derive  its  name  from  retvba  (?),  which 
means  "cold  or  cool."  In  Robinsons  account  of 
his  visit  to  Akaba,  he  makes  out  the  Gulf  to  have 
extended  very  much,  further  to  the  north  in  former 
times.  Btippell  went  the  Hadj  road  in  1822.  I 
must  see  what  he  says. 

February  26. — I  went  to  Abdin  again  this 
morning.  On  my  entrance  I  was  received  by  one 
of  the  officers  (probably  Zecchy  Pasha),  seemingly 
one  of  equal  rank  with  Tonnino  Bey.  Whilst  I 
was  waiting  we  talked  about  slavery  and  the  slave 


trade,  Sir  Samuel  Baker,  &c.  Tonnino  Bey  pre- 
sently came  in  and  conversed  with  us,  coffee  being 
served  in  the  usual  way.  At  half-past  ten  o'clock 
I  was  invited  to  go  with  Tonnino,  who  took  me 
to  the  foot  of  the  stairs,  and  saluting  me,  left  me 
in  charge  of  the  "  gentleman  in  waiting,"  who  re- 
ceived me  at  the  head  of  the  stairs,  and  marshalled 
me  into  the  audience  chamber — or  rather  into  the 
ante-chamber,  in  which  were  numerous  officers  stand- 
ing about;  and  in  which  the  Khedive  welcomed 
me,  coming  towards  me  from  the  opposite  side  of 
the  room.  I  made  a  profound  bow  and  advanced 
to  take  His  Highness's  hand,  which  he  held  out  to 
me,  as  he  expressed  his  satisfaction  at  seeing  me 
back,  congratulating  me  on  the  success  of  my  expe- 
dition, and  mentioning  the  inquietude  he  had  had 
on  my  account.  He  desired  me  to  enter,  and  I  fol- 
lowed him  into  what  I  take  to  be  the  audience 
chamber,  requesting  me  to  be  seated — pointing  to 
a  chair — whilst  he  took  a  place  upon  the  sofa.  At 
this  moment  Nubar  Pasha  came  in,  and  seated  him- 
self en  face.  I  proceeded  to  explain  to  His  High- 
ness all  that  I  had  done ;  Nubar  interfering  much 
more  on  this  occasion  than  on  the  former  in  the 
conversation,  translating  into  Turkish  what  I  said. 
The  Viceroy  remarked,  "  Then  it  is  not  a  volcano." 


I  said,  "  No ;  in  this  respect  I  found  myself  mis- 
taken, and  that  the  appearance  to  Moses  must  there- 
fore be  regarded  as  miraculous."  He  appeared  much 
interested,  and  when  I  spoke  of  the  Cufic  inscription, 
he  said  it  ought  to  be  communicated  to  Brugsch. 

I  then  showed  His  Highness  the  specimen  of  iron 
ore,  with  respect  to  which  he  said,  "  It  was  unfor- 
tunate there  was  no  coal  near  there/'  His  Highness 
had  evidently  been  primed  by  his  Minister.  I  next 
showed  and  explained  my  companion's  several  draw- 
ings, Nubar  making  a  running  comment  on  all  that 
I  said.  When  I  had  finished,  His  Highness  volun- 
teered the  remark,  "  You  propose  to  publish  them 
in  an  album."  I  replied,  that  such  was  my  de- 
sire, and  that  if  I  might  presume  to  request  His 
Highness  to  do  me  the  honour  to  allow  me  to  dedi- 
cate the  work  to  him — "  With  pleasure,"  responded 
he,  bowing ;  whereupon  His  Excellency  interfered, 
by  saying,  u  Nous  parlerons  de  9ela  apr6s."  This 
shut  me  up.  So  I  thanked  His  Highness  for  his 
great  kindness,  and  the  assistance  he  had  rendered 
the  expedition,  and  took  my  leave.  He  shook 
hands  with  me  in  the  most  cordial  and  friendly 
manner,  expressing  the  hope  that  he  might  have 
the  pleasure  of  seeing  me  again.  He  came  one 
step  towards  the  door,  and  bowed  as  I  turned  round 


to  make  my  reverence.  This  visit  was  one  of  more 
ceremony  than  the  last.  To-day,  too,  is  a  council 
day,  and  all  the  Ministers  are  in  attendance.  I  am 
told  it  is  not  usual  to  give  audience  on  that  day. 
When  I  came  down-stairs  Tonnino  Bey  asked  me 
particularly  at  what  hotel  I  was  staying,  with  what 
object  I  do  not  know,  unless  to  send  me  a  '  ticket 
for  soup/  So  altogether  my  farewell  visit  to  the 
Khedive  has  not  been  very  satisfactory.  I  had  no 
opportunity  even  to  dilate  upon  my  plans  for  flood- 
ing the  Lybian  Desert 

February  27. — Mr.  Young,  Livingstone's  friend, 
has  arrived,  so  I  went  at  once  to  call  upon  him. 
His  two  daughters  are  with  him.  He  received  me 
very  kindly,  and  we  spent  a  couple  of  hours  to- 
gether in  most  interesting  conversation,  I  showing 
them  my  sketches,  &a  I  gave  the  young  ladies 
some  of  the  shells  we  brought  from  Madian  (Midian.) 
We  were  talking  about  Livingstone  and  his  first 
book,  about  which  he  consulted  me  when  he  was 
with  us  in  Mauritius,  and  for  which  he  got 
£10,000  from  Murray.  They  agreed  first  for 
£2000,  for  12,000  copies,  and  half  profits  for 
all  over  that  number;  then  Murray  agreed  to 
give  him  half  profits  on  the  whole;  and  in  the 
end  he  gave  him  two-thirds,  the  account  showing 


a  profit  of  £15,000!     Murray's  whole  dealing  in 
the  matter  was  most  liberal. 

Nubar  Pasha  is  annoyed  at  my  having  gone  to 
the  Khedive  direct,  and  is  determined  that  the 
Khddive's  consent  to  my  dedicating  my  book  to 
His  Highness  shall  not  hold  good.  Pazienza !  All 
my  friends  here  agree  with  me  that,  as  I  had  already 
the  entrSe,  there  was  no  necessity  for  troubling 
Nubar  Pasha  on  so  trivial  a  matter,  and  that  I  was 
justified  in  taking  the  course  I  did. 

March  1. — Mr.  Thomas  Cook  has  just  arrived 
here  for  the  purpose  of  starting  for  Suez,  the 
pseudo-Sinai,  Petra  and  the  Holy  Land,  the  great 
detachment  from  the  American  "Oriental  Topo- 
graphical Corps,"  under  Professor  Strong.  Their 
camels,  forty-three  in  number,  went  off  yester- 
day to  Suez.  They  take  a  photographer  with 
them,  and  all  sorts  of  apparatus.  They  are  going 
to  "  do  "  the  Holy  Land  entirely.  It  is  most  im- 
portant I  should  see  them.  If  I  can  I  shall  try 
to  get  them  to  go  over  my  ground  and  work  it 
well.  I  still  feel  very  tired  and  unwell,  quite 
different  to  what  I  did  whilst  on  the  journey. 
I  suppose  it  is  the  reaction  after  the  great  strain 
of  the  past  months.  Mr.  Youug  has  now  come 
to  disbelieve  the   report  of  Livingstone's   death, 


as  do  his  father-in-law,  Dr.  Moffatt,  and  Dr. 
Kirk.  I  wonder  if  it  will  turn  out  to  be  another 
false  alarm. 

So  that  fellow  Orton  has  been  found  guilty,  and 
sentenced  to  fourteen  years'  penal  servitude.  It 
would  have  been  a  misfortune  and  disgrace  to  the 
country  had  he  by  any  means  got  off.  Sir  Alex- 
ander Cockburn  will  now,  of  course,  retire  and  be 
made  a  peer.  I  wish  I  could  retire,  like  him,  on  a 
good  pension.  Amongst  the  new  arrivals  is  a 
brother1  of  Sir  Stafford  Northcote,  a  clergyman, 
with  his  wife  and  adopted  daughter.  Lord  and 
Lady  Clarence  Paget  are  also  here. 

March  2. — My  letter  to  you  via  Marseilles,  I 
made  a  mistake  and  posted  in  the  wrong  box.  I 
ought  to  have  sent  it  to  the  French  post-office, 
which  is  still  continued  here,  though  the  English 
one  is  abolished.  I  went  to  the  post-office  and  in- 
quired if  I  could  not  rectify  my  mistake  by  paying 
something  extra.  I  was  told  by  the  Director,  to 
my  surprise,  that  the  administration  taking  into 
consideration  the  want  of  knowledge  of  the  local 
postal  arrangements  on  the  part  of  "gli  stranieri 
poverelli" — poor  foreigners — took  upon  itself  to 
put  all  such  little  mistakes  straight,  without  mak- 

1  Since  decease*!. 


ing  any  charge  for  it  I     What  think  you  of  that 
for  Egyptian  politeness  I l 

I  called  on  Professor  Brugsch  this  morning,  who 
took  me  rather  aback  by  informing  me  that  he  had 
found  out  all  about  the  route  of  the  Israelites,  and 
their  passage  of  the  Yam-Suph,  which  he  makes  to 
be  neither  the  Gulf  of  Suez  nor  the  Gulf  of  Akaba, 
but  the  Lacus  Sirbonis  lying  on  the  extreme  north- 
east of  Egypt,  close  to  the  Mediterranean  Sea, 
somewhere  about  33 °  east  long.  What  think  you 
of  that  for  a  change  ?  He  speaks  quite  dogmati- 
cally. It  is  no  "  opinion"  of  his ;  he  says  he  has 
no  opinions.  He  deals  simply  with  "  facts."  The 
inscriptions  on  the  ancient  monuments  say  so.  All 
I  say  is,  so  much  the  worse  for  the  interpretation 
of  the  inscriptions.  From  those  inscriptions  he 
says  he  can  trace  the  route  of  the  Israelites  step 
by  step  as  far  as  the  Yam-Suph  (translated  "  Red 

1  By  the  terms  of  a  new  Postal  Convention  with  Egypt,  which 
will  come  into  operation  on  the  ist  of  April  next,  the  British  post- 
offices  at  Alexandria  and  Suez  will  be  abolished  on  that  date,  and 
the  exchange  of  money  orders,  as  well  as  all  other  postal  transactions 
between  Egypt  and  the  United  Kingdom,  will  be  carried  on  entirely 
through  the  medium  of  the  Egyptian  post-office.  No  money  orders 
payable  at  the  British  post-office  either  in  Alexandria  or  Suez  will 
be  issued  in  this  country  after  the  23rd  inst  Thenceforward  all 
orders  intended  to  be  paid  at  those  places  will  be  drawn  on  the 
Egyptian  post-office,  and  the  regulations  will  be  in  all  respects  con- 
formable to  those  adopted  in  the  case  of  orders  drawn  on  towns  in 
the  interior  of  Egypt. — March  21  st,  1878. 


Sea  "),  and  thence  to  "  Marah,"  which  he  makes  (if 
I  understand  him  rightly)  to  be  the  Bitter  Lake : 
further  he  cannot  trace  them.  Where  Mount  Sinai 
is  the  inscriptions  do  not  say,  though  he  finds 
mention  of  a  country  named  "  Sina,"  the  position 
of  which  is  not  indicated.  Now  my  opinion  is  that 
this  interpretation  of  Egyptian  inscriptions  is  on  a 
par  with  the  late  Charles  Forster's  interpretation 
of  the  so-called  "  Sinaitic  inscriptions/'  which  he 
most  elaborately  and  learnedly  demonstrated  step 
by  step,  word  for  word,  letter  for  letter — every 
single  word  and  letter  of  which  was  imaginary  1 
Brugsch  is  a  very  clever  man,  but  I  am  afraid  he  is 
working  out  Champollion's  system  h  Tovtranee. 
Mind,  I  am  not  alone  in  entertaining  this  opinion. 
What  he  told  me  certainly  surprised  me  not  a  little 
at  first. 

He  is  going  to  call  on  me  to-morrow  or  next  day, 
and  bring  me  a  list  of  some  books  he  wished  me  to 
read  in  order  to  know  how  the  "  Sinai "  question 
stands.  There  are  a  few  recent  ones  which  I  know 
I  ought  to  see ;  but  when  he  told  me  that  Lepsius 
is  the  Jirst  authority  on  the  subject,  and  that  his 
opinion  is  that  Serbal  is  the  true  Mount  Sinai 
instead  of  the  traditional  one,  he  merely  told  me 
what  I  knew  more  than  twenty  years  ago !     He 


says  he  has  not  himself  published  anything  material 
on  the  subject.1  Jebel-eVNur  he  has  heard  of  from 
Arabs,  but  knew  nothing  of  its  position,  nor,  in  fact, 
anything  of  it  except  as  the  name  of  a  mountain. 

Just  before  luncheon  was  over  I  caught  sight  of 
Professor  Owen,  who  came  into  the  dining-room  of 
the  hotel  for  a  second ;  so,  taking  off  Mrs.  Norris's 
souvenir,  which  I  always  wear  at  meals,  I  imme- 
diately jumped  up,  and  followed  him  into  the 
verandah,  where  he  welcomed  me,  and  I  told  him 
all  about  Mount  Sinai,  mentioning  among  other 
things  the  "  angel's  visits,"  when  he  said  that  the 
last  angelic  visit  was  that  of  an  Englishman — the 
old  pun  of  Pope  Gregory — Non  angli  sed  angdi. 
After  leaving  him,  I  told  Mr.  Young  that  Owen 
was  there,  as  he  wanted  to  see  him.  I  then  went 
back  to  take  my  cup  of  coffee,  and  returned  again 
to  the  verandah,  where  Mr.  Young  and  Mr.  North- 
cote  were  talking  together. 

Seeing  Professor  Owen  sitting  in  a  carriage  in 
front  of  the  hotel  speaking  to  a  gentleman,  I  drew 
attention  to  the  resemblance  of  Owen's  profile  to 
that  of  "  Punch,"  to  which  both  Northcote  and 
Young  assented.     I  added,  that  he  had  also  the 

1  See  the  "Athenaeum,"  16th  May  1864.  See  also  the  report  in 
the  "Times'1  of  15th  and  18th  September  1874  of  the  meeting  of 
the  International  Congress  of  Orientalists. 

2    K 


same  sarcastic  look,  and  Northcote  said  that  he 
could  speak  sarcastically  too,  whereupon  I  instanced 
what  he  had  just  said  to  me,  though  that  was 
more  complimentary  than  sarcastic,  but  perhaps 
with  a  spice  of  irony ;  and  so  the  conversation 
became  general.  Mr.  Young  laughingly  asked  me 
across  Mr.  Northcote,  why  it  was  the  angels  in 
Jacob's  vision  went  up  and  down  a  ladder?  and 
on  our  both  giving  it  up,  he  said,  the  reply  of  a 
Scotch  boy  was  "  he  supposed  it  was  because  they 
were  moulting  "—had  lost  their  wing  feathers  and 
therefore  could  not  fly. 

I  must  not  omit  to  tell  you  a  very  good  story 
which  General  Stanton  told  me  about  the  Egypto- 
logists. The  Duke  of  Sutherland  took  a  mummy 
to  England  with  him,  which  he  had  unrolled  by  a 
learned  Doctor,  of  the  British  Museum,  and  others 
interested  in  the  subject.  They  had  first  had  the 
inscriptions  on  the  outside  of  the  case  given  them 
to  interpret,  and  they  came  to  the  assembly  with 
the  translation,  describing  in  detail  that  the  person 
whose  body  was  enclosed  was  a  certain  priest  named 
A.  B.$  the  son  of  C.  D.>  &c.  The  mummy  was  then 
unrolled,  and  lo !  and  behold,  the  body  was  found 
to  be  that  of  a  woman  !  But  one  cannot  contradict 
these  Egyptologists,  because  they  profess  to  have 
the  key,  and  if  you  say  that  what  they  declare  the 
meaning  to  be  is  not  true,  they  ask  you  what  then 

AN  EG  YPTIAN  MUMM  V.  5*5 

it  does  mean  ?  and  if  you  are  not  prepared  to  say, 
that  does  not  make  them  right.  To-morrow 
I  hope  the  American  party  will  arrive,  and  then  I 
should  like  to  get  away  as  quickly  as  possible.  I 
hope  money  will  arrive  from  you  soon,  as  I  want 
to  settle  with  Abu  Nabut,  and  be  off  home. 

March  3. — I  forgot  to  mention  that  when  Pro- 
fessor Owen  was  talking  with  me  yesterday,  he 
said  he  supposed  they  would  now  give  me  a 
Canonry,  such  being  the  way  persons  of  my  sort 
were  rewarded — alluding  to  Canon  Tristram.  I  said 
that  I  was  not  in  orders ;  but  he  replied  that  the 
Archbishop  of  Canterbury  could  easily  remedy  that. 
This  is  of  course  mere  talk ;  but  you  will  recollect 
Bishop  Ryan  and  others  have  often  expressed  some- 
thing of  the  same  opinion.  Archdeacon  Hale,  you 
know,  strongly  urged  me  when  a  young  man  to  take 
holy  orders ;  it  is  almost  a  pity  I  did  not.  How- 
ever, I  think  that  Mr.  Disraeli  [now  Lord  Beacons- 
field]  and  Sir  Stafford  Northcote  ought  at  least  to 
increase  my  pension  to  ^500  per  annum. 

Mr.  Thomas  Cook  has  been  to  see  my  pictures, 
and  we  have  had  an  interesting  talk  about  them, 
and  other  matters  connected  with  the  Holy  Land, 
and  travellers.  He  promises  to  let  his  American 
tourists  know  about  me,  directly  they  arrive.  As  I 
was  going  down-stairs,  I  met  Professor  Owen  again. 
He  said  he  was  coming  to  tell  me  that  Lord  Clarence 


Paget  was  much  interested  in  my  journey,  and 
desired  to  have  the  pleasure  of  making  my  acquaint- 
ance, if  I  would  go  with  him.  I  found  his  Lord- 
ship a  very  pleasing,  not  young,  man,  and  with  him 
I  had  an  hour's  conversation,  going  into  the  whole 
subject  thoroughly.  Lady  Clarence  is  an  invalid, 
he  said,  but  hopes  to  be  well  enough  to  make  my 
acquaintance  in  a  day  or  two.  His  Lordship 
remarked,  as  I  was  leaving,  that  he  took  for  granted 
I  was  travelling  for  the  British  Museum,  and  was 
quite  surprised  and  shocked  to  learn  that  I  was 
entirely  on  my  own  account,  supported  only  by  a 
few  private  friends,  and  was,  in  fact,  now  waiting 
for  money  to  arrive  to  take  me  home. 

March  4. — My  friend  Colonel  Morrieson  has  just 
arrived,  having  come  down  the  Nile  by  the  same 
steamer  as  the  American  party.  There  being  no 
rooms  to  be  had  in  this  hotel,  and  the  Colonel  and 
I  having  been  "  chums  "  at  Suez,  it  was  arranged 
for  a  bed  to  be  made  up  in  my  room  for  him  for 
the  night.  The  American  party  were  taken  by 
Cook  to  the  Hotel  d'Orient.  Colonel  Morrieson 
was  delighted  to  hear  of  my  success ;  and  when  I 
said  that  I  was  waiting  for  funds  from  you,  my 
journey  and  the  delay  in  Egypt  having  cost  more 
than  I  calculated,  this  kind  good  man,  in  the  most 
unostentatious  manner,  made  me  a  present  of 
twenty  pounds  towards  the  expenses  of  my  expe- 


dition.  I  thanked  him  sincerely,  as  you  may 
suppose.  After  breakfast  a  young  man,  a  Mr. 
Percy  Bankart,  whom  I  have  seen  during  the  last 
few  days  with  the  Miss  Youngs,  came  to  ask  my 
advice  about  joining  the  American  party.  At  first 
I  was  inclined  to  advise  him  not  to  join  them ;  but 
upon  his  explaining  the  special  opportunity  it 
offered,  and  the  low  terms  upon  which  he  would  be 
taken,  I  said,  "  Go,  by  all  means."  He  then  pro- 
mised to  endeavour  to  take  a  "  squeeze  "  for  me  of 
those  Cufic  inscriptions.  [On  his  return  to  England 
Mr.  Bankart  wrote  to  Dr.  Beke  to  say  he  had  not 
been  successful  in  obtaining  the  "squeeze,"  on 
account  of  the  edges  not  being  sufficiently  sharp.] 

I  hear  a  very  poor  account  of  the  American  party 
from  one  who  travelled  with  them  up  and  down 
the  Nile.  He  says  he  does  not  like  them  at  all ; 
that  they  are  ignorant,  bigoted,  narrow-minded 
people ;  that  there  is  not  a  single  man  of  scientific 
acquirements  or  general  knowledge — they  are,  in 
fact,  mere  "parsons," — a  conceited,  self-sufficient 
set.  After  hearing  this  I  decided  not  to  go  to  Dr. 
Strong.  If  he  wants  me  he  will  come  to  me ;  I 
shall  not  trouble  myself  about  him. 

In  the  "  Pall  Mall  Budget "  of  February  20, 1  see 
there  is  an  article  on  my  discovery  of  Mount  Sinai. 
I  should  not  be  surprised  at  finding  my  "  Sinai  "  is 
Wellstead's  mountain,  only  he  did  not  identify  it 

5 1 8  DISCO  VER  Y  OF  MO  UNT  SINAI. 

with  Sinai.  The  sand  avalanche  would  well  account 
for  the  thunder  which  Sheikh  Mohammed  assured  me 
he,  and  others,  had  heard;  only  I  do  not  quite  see  how 
there  could  be  such  "  avalanches"  on  my  mountain.1 

There  are  two  young  Englishmen  here  named 
Creyke  and  Naylor,  who  are  going  to  Petra ;  they 
have  engaged  the  dragoman  Yonis,  and  having 
plenty  of  money,  are  going  to  "do  n  the  tour,  so  as 
to  be  back  in  London  for  "  the  season."  It  is  a 
miserable  day,  cold  and  overcast  in  the  morning; 
in  the  afternoon  showery,  and  now  set  in  for  rain. 
Such  is  Cairo,  where  it  never  rains  ! 

With  respect  to  the  American  party,  poor  Cook 
and  Howard  have  had  an  awful  time  with  them  on 
the  subject  of  Mohammed  ibn  Ij£t  and  his  bakhshish 
and  camels.  My  impression  is,  that  Dr.  Strong  in 
his  self-sufficiency  will  decide  on  going  along  the 
Wady  Arabah,  and  not  up  Wady  el  Ithem  I  He 
intends  to  follow  in  the  very  footsteps  of  the  Israel- 
ites— as  if  a  single  inch  of  the  ground  were  known 

1  "  It  will  be  interesting  to  hear  whether  Dr.  Beke's  Sinai  is  the 
same  mountain  as  that  visited  by  Wellstead,  and  described  in  his 
'  Travels  in  Arabia '  (1838).  Wellstead's  Sinai  was  not  a  mountain 
to  be  visited  by  travellers  who  look  for  silence  in  solitude.  It  was 
a  very  noisy  mountain,  for  Wellstead,  having  seated  himself  on  a 
rock,  saw  an  avalanche  of  sand  falling,  the  sound  of  which '  attained 
the  loudness  of  thunder/  caused  the  seat  to  vibrate,  and  so  alarmed 
his  camels  that  they  were  with  difficulty  prevented  by  their  drivers 
from  bolting.  A  more  frightful  occupation  can  hardly  be  imagined 
than  that  of  riding  a  runaway  camel  on  Mount  Sinai." — Pall  Mall 
Budget,  February  20,  1874,  p.  16,  col.  2. 


for  a  certainty.  In  the  map  which  Mr.  Bolton  sent 
me,  Kadesh  Barnea  is  marked  in  three  different 
places,  fifty  miles  apart ;  and  in  Mr.  Samuel  Sharpens 
map  it  is  placed  in  a  fourth  position ;  and  yet  this 
Yankee  Doctor  intends  going  in  the  very  foot- 
steps !  This  is  almost  a*  amusing  a*  Mark  Twain's 
Pilgrims  in  his  "  New  Pilgrim's  Progress/'  who 
went  to  the  Lake  of  Gennesareth,  where  they  were 
in  all  the  ecstasies  of  religious  fervour.  They 
would  sail  on  the  waters  where  the  apostles  had 
fished,  where  our  Lord  worked  His  miracles,  and 
so  on.  A  boat  came  near.  How  much  would  the 
people  take  ?  Two  napoleons.  An  imposition  :  one 
napoleon  was  enough ;  they  could  not  give  a  far- 
thing more.  The  boat  sailed  away,  and  they  never 
had  a  sail  on  the  Lake.  And  all  this  enthusiasm 
was  wasted  for  the  sake  of  a  paltry  napoleon. 

After  luncheon  I  called  on  the  Consul-General 
and  Mrs.  Stanton  to  take  leave;  they  were  very 
amiable,  and  after  a  long  chat  on  Egyptian  matters 
we  parted.  When  I  came  home  I  received  a  visit 
from  Lieutenant-Colonel  Arendrup,  on  the  staff  of 
General  Stone,  a  very  amiable  young  Dane  who 
came  to  Egypt  for  his  health,  and  being  poor  (as  he 
himself  confessed),  had  accepted  service  under  the 
Egyptian  Government.  He  was  most  interested  in 
my  journey,  and  took  the  liberty  of  asking  me  to 
tell  him  about  it.     He  was  quite  modest  and  un- 


assuming,  so  fearful  of  giving  offence,  and  so 
thankful  for  even  the  brief  information  that  I  at 
first  gave  him,  that  I  warmed  to  him,  and  showed 
him  my  pictures,  and  had  a  long  agreeable  chat. 
[It  is  sad  to  have  to  relate  that  this  promising 
young  officer  fell  a  victim  in  the  ill-fated  Egyptian 
expedition  into  Abyssinia  in  1875.] 

I  have  borrowed  from  Mr  Young,  Murray's 
"  Handbook "  of  the  Holy  Land ;  in  it  I  find  a 
notice  of  Aly  ibn  "  Aleciu,"  who,  instead  of  being 
a  Moslem  commander,  was  a  Dervish.  So  I  was 
right  in  calling  him  a  "saint."  You  will  see  his 
tomb  and  mosque  at "  El  Haram"  in  Route  23  from 
Jerusalem  to  Nazareth  by  the  sea-coast,  the  first 
station  from  Y&fa  on  the  way  to  Caasarea.  Messrs. 
Creyke  and  Nay  lor,  who  sat  beside  me  at  dinner,  told 
me  that  they  were  going  to  Akaba,  and  should  visit 

March  6. — The  mail  is  in,  and  I  have  your  letters. 
I  shall  start  for  Alexandria  and  England  to-morrow, 
as  I  am  longing  to  be  home.  I  must  confess  that 
I  am  disappointed  in  not  having  had  a  little  more 
attention  paid  me  here ;  but  I  am  known  to  be  now 
no  longer  a  rich  man,  and  no  one  cares  much  for 
poor  men.  I  have  settled  with  Abu  Nabut,  paying 
him  for  thirty-nine  days  £195,  and  giving  him 
and  Hashim  very  good  certificates. 

Alexandria,  March   8,   1874. — At  length,  my 


dearest  Milly,  I  come  to  my  last  letter  from  Egypt. 
I  left  Cairo  yesterday,  travelling  with  Colonel 
Stokes,  who  is  returning  home.  We  go  together  to 
Brindisi,  whence  he  proceeds  to  Rome.  He  is  a 
very  agreeable  companion,  and  we  had  a  pleasant 
journey.  Before  leaving  Cairo  I  met  Lord  Clarence 
Paget  in  the  reading-room,  who  took  leave  of  me 
in  a  very  friendly  way,  asking  me  to  call  on  him  in 
town.  He  seemed  much  delighted  with  my  pam- 
phlet, even  though  I  had  not  found  a  "  volcano  " — 
all  the  better,  perhaps,  he  said. 

Professor  Brugsch  has  been  calling  on  his  Lord- 
ship at  Hie  hdtel  within  the  last  few  days,  yet  he 
has  not  called  on  me  according  to  his  promise. 
Colonel  Morrieson,  with  a  friend  of  his,  and  I  went 
to  the  Museum  to  take  a  last  look  at  the  monu- 
ments again.  I  there  saw  young  Brugsch,  who  is 
curator,  and  he  showed  me  his  brother's  hiero- 
glyphical  grammar.  He  says  his  brother  is  writing 
a  history,  which  will  soon  be  out. 

When  I  came  back  from  Boulak  I  found  General 
Stone  had  called  upon  me.  He  has  come  too  late. 
I  sent  him  in  return  my  P.P.C.  Hashim  accom- 
panied me  to  the  station,  where  I  found  old  Abu 
Nabut  waiting  to  see  me  off.  I  gave  the  old  fellow 
a  napoleon  bakhshish,  for  which  he  was  all 
thanks.  Since  I  arrived  I  have  been  calling  upon 
all  my  good  friends  here  to  say  good-bye,  and 


lunched  with  Captain  Roberts,  manager  of  the  P. 
and  0. 

In  the  evening  I  was  interviewed  by  the  cor- 
respondents of  some  newspapers,  and  a  couple  of 

March  9 :  On  board  the  "Sumatra." — On  coming 
on  board  I  found  McKillop  Bey,  who  has  been  made 
a  Pasha,  within  the  last  fortnight  He  is  a  fine 
fellow,  a  jolly  English  sailor.  I  was  very  glad  to 
see  him,  and  he  me ;  and  I  was  pleased  to  have 
the  opportunity  of  expressing  to  him,  in  person, 
my  gratitude  for  all  he  had  done  for  me  with  respect 
to  the  steamer,  and  we  took  a  very  friendly  leave 
of  each  other.  Yesterday  some  of  the  passengers 
on  landing  were  thoroughly  drenched.  To-day  the 
sea  is  nothing  to  speak  of,  or  we  should  not  be  able 
to  leave  the  port.1 

1  "The  great  improvement  which  calls  for  accomplishment  [as 
instanced  by  Dr.  Beke  at  page  149]  is  the  removal  of  the  reef  that 
burs  the  entrance  to  the  port  of  Alexandria.  Its  existence  ought  no 
longer  to  be  tolerated.  Shipping  to  the  amount  of  1,300,000  tons 
enters  the  port  every  year.  The  exports  amount  in  value  to  thirteen 
millions  sterling.  The  imports  come  to  five  millions.  The  harbour 
works,  which  are  near  completion,  when  finished  will  have  cost  two 
millions  and  a  half,  and  the  conveniences  then  offered  will  put 
Alexandria  next  to  Marseilles,  Trieste,  and  Genoa  in  the  rank  of 
Mediterranean  ports.  Yet  no  ship  can  enter  the  port  after  nightfall, 
and  all  vessels  of  considerable  draught  cannot  enter  at  all  either  by 
day  or  night  in  stormy  weather.  Alexandria  Bay  is  five  miles 
across ;  but  as  you  near  the  harbour  you  find  shoal  water  almost 
everywhere,  across  which  for  more  than  a  mile  stretches  the  new 
breakwater.  The  real  deep-water  channel,  the  only  passage  for  large 
ships,  is  not  100  feet  across,  and  has  the  additional  drawback  of 
being  very  circuitous.    Its  depth  is  only  27  feet,  so  that  in  rough 


Our  vessel  started  at  1.30  p.m.  I  have  a  cabin 
entirely  to  myself,  and  in  this,  as  in  everything 
else,  the  officials  of  the  P.  and  0.  Company  have 
shown  me  every  kindness  and  consideration,  of 
which  I  cannot  speak  too  highly,  or  sufficiently 
thank  them  for.  Colonel  Stokes  tells  me  that, 
when  dining  at  General  Stanton's,  some  words  I 
let  drop  led  them  to  suppose  I  was  a  German  long- 
settled  in  England  ;  but  on  the  way  to  Alexandria 
together,  something  led  me  to  speak  of  my  family 
as  being  an  old  English  one ;  so  Colonel  Stokes 
tells  me  that,  on  arrival  at  Alexandria,  he  wrote  to 
Stanton  informing  him  of  their  mistake.  How  funny 
things  are !  My  name  and  my  German  scholarship 
have  led  many  others  into  the  same  mistake.  It 
is  certain  I  never  voluntarily  caused  the  error ;  on 
the  contrary,  I  am  too  proud  of  my  birth  to  dis- 
avow it,  or  to  mislead  any  one  with  respect  to  it. 

weather  vessels  of  deep  draught  dare  not  venture  in  for  fear  of 
touching  the  rock  in  the  trough  of  the  sea.  Barely  a  month  ago,  . 
during  a  forty-eight  hours'  gale,  the  Austrian  Lloyd  and  English 
mail  steamers,  and  several  merchantmen,  dare  not  venture  out  of 
harbour ;  while  four  large  vessels,  tossed  about  outside  in  the  offing 
for  thirty-six  hours,  and  the  English  turret-ship  "  Rupert,11  actually 
put  back  to  Port  Said  rather  than  venture  in.  A  careful  survey  has 
been  recently  made  by  a  skilful  English  engineer  of  the  amount  of 
rock  it  would  be  necessary  to  remove  in  order  to  widen  and  deepen 
the  channel  sufficiently  to  permit  entry  and  exit  at  all  times  and  in 
all  weathers.  The  work  required  proves  by  no  means  insurmount- 
able. It  is  said  that  a  tithe  of  what  has  been  spent  on  the  harbour 
would  make  its  entrance  safe,  and  it  seems  penny  wise  and  pound 
foolish  not  to  take  the  matter  in  hand  at  once."— See  u  The  Timu? 
Feb.  1,  1878. 

5  24     "       DISCO  VER  Y  OF  MOUNT  SINAI. 

March  1 2. — In  consequence  of  the  rough  weather 
we  shall  not  reach  Brindisi  till  the  evening.  How- 
ever, you  will  get  this  letter  on  Monday  morning  ; 
and  if  I  can  only  manage  to  catch  the  Sunday 
morning  train  from  Venice  to  Turin,  I  hope  I  shall 
sleep  at  Turin,  and  start  for  Paris  on  Monday 
morning,  so  that  I  may  possibly  be  with  you  on 
Tuesday  night. 

March  13,  Brindisi. — The  mails  and  passengers 
landed  last  night  after  I  was  gone  to  bed.  At 
about  midnight  I  got  your  letter:  the  cuttings 
from  "  The  Times  "  of  Holland,  Wilson,  and  Pal- 
mer's letters  are  very  amusing.  What  a  funk  they 
are  in !  They  have  not  a  leg  to  stand  on,  what- 
ever may  be  the  fate  of  my  Mount  Sinai.  What 
does  Wilson  mean  by  "  Kas  Sufe&feh  "  ?  Is  it  the 
same  as  Holland's  "  Jebel  Musa  "  ?  I  feel  sure  that 
I  have  been  successful,  if  only  in  demolishing  the 
traditional  Mount  Sinai,  and  setting  people  to  look 
at  things  in  a  proper  light.  I  forward  this  letter  by 
one  of  the  passengers  who  is  going  direct  to  Turin 
this  afternoon,  as  otherwise  it  would  not  reach  you 
till  after  my  arrival.  Now,  God  bless  you  I  Have 
courage,  and  all  will  go  well,  I  am  confident ! 
Thus  ends  the  narrative  of  my  expedition  in  search 
of  the  true  "Mount  Sinai." 

"  Gloria  Tibi  Domine ! " 



(See  pp.  305-400.) 

Geological  Notes*  on  the  Peninsula  of  Pharan,  North- 
western Arabia,  and  'Mount  Sinai*  (Mount  BAghir). 
By  John  Milne,  F.G.S. 

The  journey,  of  which  the  following  is  an  account,  was  made  in 
company  with  the  late  Dr.  Beke  in  quest  of  the  true  Mount 
Sinai,  which  mountain  he  placed  in  North- Western  Arabia,  about 
95  miles  in  a  north-easterly  direction  from  the  district  in  which 
it  has  hitherto  been  conjecturally  considered  to  exist 

Owing  to  the  rapidity  with  which  the  country  visited  was  tra- 
versed, it  would  be  impossible  to  connect  with  accuracy  the 
various  observations  which  were  made ;  and  therefore,  rather 
than  attempt  to  construct  a  series  of  sections  showing  the  rela- 
tion of  the  various  formations  to  each  other,  I  have  considered 
it  better  simply  to  indicate  the  conditions  as  observed  at  various 
points,  leaving  it  for  those  more  conversant  with  the  geology  of 
these  districts  to  connect  the  following  fragments  with  those 
already  accumulated.  For  assistance  in  the  determination  of  the 
rock-specimen 8  collected,  of  which  .77  are  described  (22  of  which 
were  examined  microscopically),  I  have  to  thank  Mr.  Thomas 
Davies,  F.G.S.,  of  the  British  Museum. 

District  visited. — From  Suez  we  went  by  sea  to  Ainunah, 
which  lies  in  the  north-east  corner  of  the  Red  Sea,  and  then  on 
to  Akaba,  touching  almost  daily  at  some  point  or  other  along  the 
coast  From  Akaba  we  took  camels,  and  journeyed  some  twenty 
miles  in  a  north-easterly  direction  up  Wady  Ithem,  in  the  direc- 
tion of  Petra  and  Ma'an.  This  was  the  furthest  point  of  our 
journey.     On  again  reaching  Akaba,  instead  of  returning  to  Suez 

*  The  specimens  referred  to  have  teen  presented  by  the  late  Dr.  Beke'a 
desire  to  the  British  Museum. 


by  sea,  as  we  had  come,  we  reached  it  by  crossing  the  elevated 
desert  plateau  of  the  Tin. 

Bos  Sheikh  el  Baitan, — This  place  is  about  50  miles  south  from 
Suez,  on  the  coast  of  the  [traditional]  Sinaitic  Peninsula.     Here 
the  hills,  which  are  approached  from  the  coast  by  about  a  mile  of 
a  gradually  sloping  sandy  plain,  are  granitic.     All  the  way  from 
Suez  the  coast  on  either  side  is  bounded  by  high  and  rugged 
hills,  in  general  appearance  very  similar  to  these.     Being  desti- 
tute of  vegetation,  there  has  been  no  check  to  the  effects  of 
disintegration;   and  these  mountains,   which   probably  would 
have  been  more  rounded  in  their  outlines  had  they  been  pro- 
tected by  trees  and  herbage,  now  rise  in  bold  and  often  almost 
perpendicular   cliffs,    contrasting    strongly   with    the    rounded 
granitic  outlines  seen  in  many  parts  of  the  British  Isles,  especi- 
ally in  Cornwall.     Looking  at  these  hills  from  a  distance,  they 
appeared  as  if  built  up  of  so  many  triangular  slabs  which  had 
been  laid  over  the  surface  of  some  pre-existing  hill.    The  tops  or 
apices  of  these  slabs  pointing  upwards  give  rise  to  innumerable 
peaks,  forming  prominent  serrations  on  the  ridge  and  rough 
points  upon  the  sides.     The  granite  is  of  a  greyish  colour,  and 
consists  chiefly  of  quartz  and  a  black  mica,  little  felspar  being 
present     These  mountains  are  cut  by  numberless  dykes,  which 
are  generally  nearly  vertical,  but  yet  often  intersect  each  other 
at  small  angles.     Looking  at  these  from  the  coast,  they  appear 
as  so  many  well-defined  broad  red  or  dark-coloured  bands.     At 
this  place,  Bas  Sheikh  el  Battan,  the  red  bands  were  felsites, 
whilst  those  of  a  dark  colour,  which  varied  from  a  black  to  olive- 
green,  were  felspathic  porphyries.     The  two  might  easily  be  dis- 
tinguished by  blows  of  the  hammer— the  former  being  hard  and 
compact,  and  having  a  clear  metallic  ring  when  struck ;  whilst 
the  latter,  being  much  decomposed,  sounded  dull,  aud  readily 
crumbled.     In  places  some  of  these  dykes  were  filled  with  small 
cavities  containing  a  white  glassy  mineral,  which  in  several  cases, 
having  dissolved  out,  gave  to  the  rock  a  vesicular  structure. 

Iu  width  these  dykes  vary  considerably;  those  examined 
varied  from  6  to  1 2  feet 

Lying  on  the  sand  about  a  quarter  of  a  mile  from  the  foot  of 
the  mountains,  there  are  some  curious  slabs  of  sandstone  from 
three  to  six  feet  square,  made  up  of  readily  separable  laminae  of 
J  to  I  inch  in  thickness.  These  slabs  are  hard,  brittle,  slightly 
calcareous,  of  a  gritty  siliceous  structure  and  nearly  white.  They 
probably  come  from  beds  of  the  so-called  Libyan  Sandstone,  of 
which  there  is  an  exposure  somewhere  near  this  place. 

Dr.  Beke  tells  me  that,  when  travelling  from  Tor  towards  Suez 
along  this  coast,  he  passed  over  a  surface  of  fine  sandstone  like 


the  one  just  described,  on  which  there  were  numerous  tracks 
of  birds'  feet  apparently  as  fresh  and  perfect  as  if  only  just 

Here  the  curious  forms  assumed  by  drifted  sand  could  be  well 
observed.  When  sailing  along  the  coast,  from  high  up  between 
sloping  walls  of  granite  bounding  the  valleys,  the  sand  can  be 
seen  descending  like  a  glacier.  Every  gorge  and  valley  is  filled 
from  side  to  side  with  it;  and  from  high  np,  at  a  narrow  ter- 
minus where  the  sides  of  granite  approach  each  other,  there  is  a 
sloping  even  surface  which  comes  winding  down  until  it  merges 
in  the  plain  below. 

As  at  this  point  there  was  no  valley,  the  glacier-like  form  did 
not  exist,  but  in  its  place  were  long  winding  sandy  ridges  running 
from  the  foot  of  the  hills  and  terminating  abruptly  in  the  plain 
some  50  or  100  yards  from  their  origin.  A  section  at  right  angles 
to  the  length  of  one  of  these,  would  give  two  sides  sloping 
upwards  at  about  45°,  meeting  at  an  angle  some  12  or  14  feet 
above  the  ground.  Running  up  these  two  faces  there  are  parallel 
lines  very  similar  to  regularly-formed  ripple-marks,  which  give 
the  surface  a  corrugated  appearance.  The  curious  point,  however, 
is  that  the  ripple-marks  on  one  side  of  the  mound  alternate  with 
those  on  the  other ;  that  is  to  say,  where  the  crest  of  one  ripple- 
mark  running  up  the  side  of  the  monnd  reaches  its  ridge,  there 
it  meets  with  the  hollow  of  a  ripple-mark  on  the  opposite  side, 
in  this  way  causing  the  ridge  to  be  a  regularly-formed  waved  line. 

Similar  structures  to  these  mounds  of  Band  I  have  seen  in 
Iceland  built  up  of  ashes,  but  on  a  much  larger  scale.  Those  on 
the  north-east- side  of  Godalands  Jokull,  are  ridges  half  a  mile  in 
length  running  from  the  top  of  the  hills  down  to  the  valley  below, 
and  have  a  striking  resemblance  to  some  huge  railway  embank- 

Tor. — A  short  distance  before  reaching  this  place  the  high 
range  of  granitic  hills  which  borders  the  coast  gradually  grows 
lower,  and  finally  disappears  in  the  sand.  Many  of  the  dykes  in 
them  are  approximately  parallel,  and  those  which  are  not  vertical 
dip  towards  the  south.  As  this  range  of  hills,  which  from  the 
map  appears  to  be  called  Jebel  Gabeliyeh,  dies  out,  another  range 
rises  in  the  rear,  which  as  it  proceeds  southwards  approaches  the 
sea-board,  from  which  at  first  it  is  some  15  or  16  miles  distant. 
The  highest  of  these,  Jebel  Serbal,  6734  feet,  has,  amongst  others, 
a  claim  to  be  the  true  Mount  Sinai.     Between  it  and  the  sea 


come  down  to  the  shore,  form  small  cliffs  from  20  to  30  feet  in 
height.  These  mounds,  which  are  made  up  of  sand,  imbedded 
masses  of  coral,  and  a  variety  of  shells,  are  apparently  a  drift 
accumulation — an  idea  suggested  by  the  imperfect  condition  of 
the  shells  and  the  irregular  manner  in  which  they  appear  to  be 
thrown  together. 

Shcrm. — At  page  396  of  Mr.  Poulett  Scrope's  work  on  volcanoes 
it  is  stated,  on  the  authority  of  Burckhardt,  that  there  is  a  proba- 
bility of  the  existence  of  volcanic  rocks  at  Sherm.  Burckhardt, 
when  speaking  of  this  district  in  his  ' Syria*  (page  522),  says, 
"  The  transition-rock,  which  partakes  of  the  nature  of  greenstone 
or  grauwacke  or  hornstone  and  trap,  presents  an  endless  variety 
in  every  part  of  the  peninsula ;  so  that,  even  were  I  possessed  of 
the  requisite  knowledge,  to  describe  them  accurately  would  try 
the  patience  of  the  reader.  Masses  of  black  trap  much  resembling 
basalt  compose  several  isolated  peaks  and  rocks ; "  and  at  page  529, 
he  continues,  "  From  Sherm  we  rode  an  hour  and  a  quarter  among 
low  hills  near  the  shore  "  [towards  AkabaJ  "  Here  for  the  first 
and  only  time  I  saw  volcanic  rocks.  For  a  distance  of  about  two 
miles  the  hills  presented  perpendicular  cliffs,  formed  in  half-circles, 
and  some  of  them  nearly  in  circles,  none  of  them  being  more  than 
from  60  to  80  feet  in  height ;  in  other  places  there  were  appear- 
ances as  of  volcanic  craters.  The  rock  is  black,  with  a  slight 
reddish  tinge,  full  of  cavities,  and  has  a  rough  surface ;  on  the 
road  lay  a  few  stones  which  had  separated  themselves  from  above. 
The  cliffs  were  covered  by  deep  layers  of  sand ;  and  the  valleys 
at  their  foot  were  also  overspread  with  it  It  is  possible  that 
rocks  of  the  same  kind  may  be  found  towards  Has  Abu  Moham- 
med ;  and  hence  may  have  arisen  the  term  black  (fitXata  o^ij), 
applied  to  the  mountains  by  the  Greeks.  It  should  be  observed 
that  low  sand  hills  intervene  between  the  volcanic  rocks  and  the 
sea,  and  that  above  these,  towards  the  higher  mountains,  no  traces 
of  lava  are  found,  which  seems  to  show  that  the  volcanic  matter 
is  confined  to  this  spot." 

Of  these  remains  of  an  extinct  volcano  or  volcanoes  the  only 
trace  obtained  was  the  picking-up  of  a  few  pieces  of  volcanic 
breccia,  as  will  be  seen  from  my  notes  on  the  neighbourhood, 
which  unfortunately,  from  want  of  time,  relate  only  to   the 


From  this  place  to  Ras  Abu  Mohammed,  the  most  southern 
point  of  the  Sinaitic  Peninsula,  there  is  an  absence  of  the  granitic 
rocks,  which  keep  some  6  or  7  miles  back  from  the  coast-line, 
their  place  being  supplied  by  low  hills  and  cliffs  of  limestone  and 
sandstone.  On  the  east  side  of  Sherm  harbour,  the  cliffs,  which 
are  about  50  feet  in  height,  are  formed  of  sand,  capped  with  two 


horizontal  beds  of  yellowish  white  limestone.  These  latter, 
which  are  about  14  feet  thick,  are  full  of  irregular  cavities,  and 
are  in  fact  rather  a  breccia  of  shells  and  cord  than  a  compact 

The  beds  of  sand,  which  in  places  appear  to  dip  at  about  120 
towards  the  south,  although  compact,  are  much  too  friable  to  be 
called  a  sandstone.  They  are  of  a  yellowish  red  colour,  and  in 
places  are  formed  of  quartz  grains  as  large  as  peas,  giving  the 
character  of  a  grit.  Intercalated  with  them  is  a  band  about  six 
inches  wide,  of  rounded  and  angular  pieces  of  flint,  quartz,  and 
granite,  Masses  of  limestone,  having  fallen  from  the  beds  above, 
form  a  protection  against  disintegrating  forces,  which  rapidly  tend 
to  undermine  them.  Passing  from  these  cliffs  round  the  harbour 
in  a  northerly  direction,  across  the  entrance  to  a  wady  running 
to  the  north-east,  steep  banks  of  sand  are  met  with,  which  continue 
to  its  south-west  side.  These  are  generally  of  a  yellowish  colour ; 
but  in  one  or  two  places  they  were  of  a  fiery  red.  At  several 
points  there  are  indications  which  might  be  taken  for  horizontal 
i.  oands  of  a  black  colour,  forming  a  cap  to  these  banks  of  sand ; 
where  these  do  not  exist  their  remains  are  seen  in  taluses  of  black 

Want  of  time  prevented  a  close  examination  of  these ;  but 
judging  from  the  numerous  fragments  of  black  stone  lying  on 
the  beach,  it  would  appear  that  they  were  in  part,  if  not  wholly, 
of  volcanic  origin.  Generally  speaking,  they  were  compact,  fine* 
grained,  of  a  black  colour,  and  even  in  their  texture.  Under 
the  microscope,  however,  they  were  distinctly  seen  to  be  a 
volcanic  felspathic  breccia  (probably  doleritic  particles  cemented 
by  a  triclinic  felspar) — a  condition  which,  from  external  appear- 
ances, would  never  have  been  suspected,  unless  from  a  slight 
irregularity  on  the  weathered  surfaces  of  the  specimens.  With 
them  were  a  few  fragments  of  a  coarse-grained  black  rock, 
consisting  of  quartz  and  felspar  cemented  by  limonite,  which  is 
distinctly  a  breccia 

To  the  west,  behind  these  banks  of  sand,  low  hills  with 
rounded  outlines  run  from  north  to  south,  which  have  a  definite 
stratification  and  dip  towards  the  north. 

The  cliffs  of  Ras  Abu  Mohammed,  lying  to  the  south-west, 
are  about  90  feet  in  height,  and  are  apparently  composed  of  the 
same  coral  limestone  as  that  forming  a  cap  to  the  sand  at  Sherm, 
with  which  they  also  agree  in  the  direction  of  their  dip. 

Inland  from  the  cape  there  is  a  curious  round  hummock-shaped 
black  hill. 

From  Sherm  our  course  was  close  along  the  shore  of  the 

2  L 


Sinaitic  Peninsula,  along  which  nothing  bat  ragged  hills  of 
granite  and  "dunes"  of  sand  were  visible. 

At  the  entrance  to  the  Gulf  of  Akaba  we  sailed  due  east  to 
Ainunah,  the  approach  to  which  was  for  many  miles  guarded 
by  innumerable  coral  reefs,  on  which  the  soundings  were  seldom 
over  two  fathoms.  At  Ainunah,  excepting  a  few  palm  trees  and 
the  remains  of  an  aqueduct  apparently  of  Boman  origin,  there  is 
but  little  of  interest.  The  hills,  which  are  very  high,  several  of 
them  being  upwards  of  7000  feet,  are  a  day's  journey  or  more 
distant  from  the  coast  About  halfway  towards  them  there  is 
a  long  low  white  scarp,  forming  the  flank  of  a  range  of  hills  or 
a  low  plateau,  which  is  probably  limestone.  The  remainder  of 
the  country  is  flat,  and  slightly  undulating,  being  for  the  most 
part  covered  with  stones  ana  sand;  notwithstanding  which, 
relatively  speaking,  it  is  very  fertile,  many  bushes,  acacias,  and 
small  date-palms  being  visible. 

Between  this  place  and  the  entrance  to  the  Gulf  of  Akaba 
there  are  many  islands,  all  of  which,  judging  from  their  similarity 
in  appearance  to  those  examined,  are  made  up  of  a  whitish  lime- 
stone dipping  at  a  low  angle  towards  the  east 

Madidn  [Midian].* — The  first  place  landed  at  inside  the-Gulf  of 
Akaba  was  Madian,  up  to  which  point  both  sides  of  the  gulf  are 
bounded  by  bleak  and  bare  high  hills  of  granite.  Here  there  is  a 
Beduin  village,  situated  on  the  sea-board  at  the  termination  of  a 
valley  or  wady  coming  down  from  the  east  This  valley  at  its 
mouth  forms  a  boundary  line  between  two  sets  of  lithologically  dif- 
ferent rocks.  On  the  right  or  south  side  is  a  granite,  whilst  on  the 
left  or  north  side  there  are  beds  of  sandstone  and  conglomerate. 

The  granite,  which  is  more  or  less  of  a  reddish  colour,  is  in 
such  a  decomposed  state  on  its  surface,  that  at  a  short  distance 
it  would  be  readily  mistaken  for  a  soft  sandstone.  Even  in  the 
more  solid  parts,  when  struck  with  a  hammer  it  readily  falls  into 
angular  pieces.  Its  texture  varies  considerably,  being  both  fine 
and  coarse ;  but  in  all  parts  the  felspathic  element  predominates. 
The  striking  feature  in  this  rock  is  the  number  of  dykes  by 
which  it  is  traversed.  These,  generally  speaking,  have  a  strike 
from  north  to  south,  and  a  dip  at  a  high  angle  of  80  or  85° 
towards  the  east 

In  all  the  granite  hills  of  these  regions,  there  are  visibly  two 
classes  of  dykes,  which  are  distinguishable  from  each  other  by 
their  colour — black  ones,  which  are  generally  dark-coloured 
coarse-grained  porphyries,  and  red  ones,  which  are  for  the  most 
part  pink  felsites  or  fine-grained  porphyries.  Both  of  these  are 
much  disintegrated,  but  the  former  more  so  than  the  latter.     On 

*  See  Dr.  Beke'a  description  of  Midian,  p.  332. 


an  east  and  west  section  about  a  quarter  of  a  mile  in  length,  out 
of  eleven  of  the  dark-coloured  dykes,  only  two  stood  up  to  form 
peaks ;  the  remaining  nine,  being  softer  than  the  granite,  were 
cut  down  so  as  to  form  hollows  and  heaps  of  debris. 

About  half  a  mile  up  this  valley,  upon  its  south  side,  a  bluff 
about  30  feet  in  height  rises  perpendicularly  from  the  top  of  a 
large  mound.  This  appears  to  show  a  junction  of  the  granite 
and  conglomerate;  but  the  two  externally  appear  to  be  so 
merged  into  each  other  that  it  is  difficult  to  draw  a  marked 
line  between  them.  The  top  of  the  bluff  is  covered  with  two 
horizontal  bands  of  sand  and  rounded  stones  about  six  feet  in 
thickness.  On  its  southern  aide,  beneath  this  cap  there  is  a  face 
of  decomposing  felspathic  granite,  traversed  by  greenish- coloured 
dykes,  which  include  within  themselves  small  angular  fragments 
probably  derived  from  some  earlier-formed  dyke  which  they  have 
traversed.  Passing  round  to  the  east  side,  there  is  an  apparent 
gradation  into  red  earthy  bands,  very  like  a  hard  clay,  which  in 
their  turn  merge  on  the  north  side  into  a  brecciated  conglomerate, 
which  faces  the  sandstone  beds  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  valley. 
This  conglomerate  varies  considerably  in  texture,  containing  not 
only  pebbles,  but  also  large  boulders.  Facing  this  bluff,  upon 
the  opposite  side  of  the  valley,  which  is  here  considerably 
narrowed,  there  is  a  corresponding  bluff  formed  wholly  of  con- 
glomerate. The  upper  part  of  this,  which  is  made  up  of  a  coarse 
material,  the  stones  it  contains  being  as  large  as  a  cocoa-nut,  lies 
un conformably  upon  a  bed  of  finer  material 

This  lower  bed  in  its  upper  portions  is  a  gritty  sandstone,  but 
as  it  descends  it  passes  into  a  fine  conglomerate.  Being  much 
softer  than  the  rock  which  caps  it,  it  is  rapidly  being  undermined, 
and  large  blocks  of  the  coarse  conglomerate  from  above  are  in 
consequence  continually  falling.  These  blocks,  although  they  are 
made  up  of  similar,  if  not  the  same,  material  as  the  neighbouring 
granite  rocks,  form,  as  far  as  their  durability  is  concerned,  a  far 
superior  stone— under  the  hammer  the  one  giving  a  dull  hollow 
earthy  sound,  and  the  other  a  clear  sharp  metallic  ring. 

Passing  this  bluff  to  the  north  side  of  the  valley,  we  come  on  a 
gradually  sloping  plane  of  sandstone,  grit,  and  conglomerate,  the 
surface  of  which  has  been  worn  into  a  series  of  round  hummock- 
shaped  forms,  each  about  four  feet  in  height.  Winding  in  and  out 
between  these  there  are  smooth  narrow  channel-shaped  hollows, 
looking  as  if  at  times  they  formed  courses  along  which  water  had 
flowed ;  and,  in  fact,  down  one  of  these  a  small  and  rapid  stream 
of  water  was  descending,  at  the  time  of  my  visit,  towards  a  palm- 
grove  which  occupies  the  bottom  of  the  valley.  In  places  where  a 
cutting  has  been  made  from  the  valley  into  the  hummocked  plane 


of  conglomerate  and  sandstone,  the  unconformability  just  spoken 
of  is  strikingly  seen  in  several  outliers,  the  tops  of  which  are  made 
up  of  conglomerate,  which  joins  in  an  irregular  line  the  sandstone 
of  their  lower  portions. 

About  three  quarters  of  a  mile  up  the  valley,  on  its  north  side 
there  is  an  exposure,  about  40  yards  in  length  and  from  20  to  30 
feet  in  height,  which  exhibits  a  curious  juxtaposition  of  sandstone, 
conglomerate,  and  breccia. 

Not  far  from  the  place  where  this  section  is  exhibited,  and  on 
the  same  side  of  the  valley,  there  are  the  ruins  of  a  temple  called 
by  the  inhabitants  the  Mosque  of  Moses,  which  for  the  most  part 
is  built  of  large  square  blocks  of  a  fine-grained  and  perfectly  white 
alabaster.  In  the  bed  of  the  valley  there  were  many  large,  toler- 
ably angular  blocks  of  this  stone,  which  had  evidently  travelled 
down  from  the  interior,  where  the  inhabitants  stated  that  at  six 
hours'  distance  there  was  a  mountain  or  a  large  hill  wholly  com- 
posed of  this  material,  which,  if  like  the  samples  seen,  must  be 
of  an  excellent  quality  for  building-purposes. 

A  little  further  inland  from  this  temple,  where  the  valley  forks, 
the  sandstone  crosses  to  the  south  side,  and  there  exposes  a  section 
near  60  feet  in  height.  On  the  top  of  this  there  are  some  two  or 
three  feet  of  the  coarse  conglomerate,  which  lie  on  sandstone  beds 
dipping  about  40  N.N.W.  This  sandstone  is  made  up  of  some 
eighteen  or  twenty  bands  of  a  light  yellow,  fine-grained,  quartzose 
material.  Interstratified  with  these  bands  are  one  or  two  layers 
of  an  argillaceous  shelly  material,  one  of  which  contains  several 
narrow  veins  of  gypsum,  each  about  half  an  inch  in  thickness, 
and,  lower  down  the  valley,  also  a  decided  quantity  of  common 

Rocks  from  Median. 

(All  these,  unlaw  specially  mentioned,  were  obtained  from  dykes  traversing; 
the  granite.    The  first  four  were  determined  microscopically.) 

1.  Basalt,  fine-grained,  and  of  a  greenish  colour. 

2.  Diabase,  fine-grained,  even-textured,  dense,  and  of  a  blackish  green  colour. 

3.  Diabase,  only  differs  from  No.  2  in  being  slightly  greener  and  of  a  finer 


4.  Diabase,  slightly  greener  than  Nos.  2  and  3. 

5.  Red  Porphyry,  compact,  fine-grained,  with  hornblende. 

6.  Granite,  highly  f  el  spathic,  with  but  little  mica,  of  a  pinkish  colour.      A 

rojk  penetrated  by  dykes. 

7.  Granite  similar  to  No."  6,  but  haying  small  fissures  containing  dolomite. 

8.  Granite,  similar  to  No.  6,  but  containing  two  felspars— one  triclinic,  and 

the  other  01  thoclase. 

9.  Granite,  greyish  and  much  disintegrated,  and  thickly  traversed  by  dytca. 
10.  Porphyry,  a  dark-coloured  base,  thickly  covered  with  small  white  crystals 

of  felspar. 


1 1.  Porphyry,  like  No.  10,  but  with  the  felspar  crystal*  long  and  acieolar. 

12.  Dolerite,  with  brownish  yellow  olirine,  of  a  vesicular  structure,  the  cavi- 
ties being  in  pari  filled  with  carbonate  of  lime.  This  was  obtained  from 
a  boolder,  of  which  there  are  many,  all  probably  haying  their  origin 
further  up  the  wady  to  the  east 

13.  Degraded  Basalt*  like  No.  1,  both  being  found  in  small  angular  frag- 
ments in  the  interior  of  a  dyke  on  the  east  side  of  the  wady. 

Madian  to  Omaiier. — From  Madura,  continuing  northwards 
along  the  east  side  of  the  Gulf  of  Akaba,  the  sandstone  con- 
tinued for  some  4  or  5  miles,  but  in  places  apparently  pierced 
by  the  granite,  which  at  one  time  it  probably  covered,  and 
towards  the  flanks  of  which  it  was  now  approaching. 

On  the  west  side  of  the  gulf,  although  the  hills  were  15  miles 
distant,  the  dykes  by  which  they  were  penetrated  were  distinctly 

As  we  neared  the  granite  on  the  eastern  side,  the  sandstone 
gradually  sloped  up  towards  it,  or,  in  other  words,  dipped  to  the 
south  or  south-east,  suggesting  the  idea  just  stated,  that  at  one 
time  it  wholly  buried  these  mountains  which  now  raise  them- 
selves so  high  above  it  When  we  were  opposite  what  ought  to 
have  been  the  line  of  junction  of  the  two,  the  stratification  of 
the  sandstone  became  so  broken,  and  the  outline  of  the  decom- 
posing granite  so  indefinite,  that  the  relation  of  the  two  was 
not  distinctly  visible.  The  next  object  of  geological  interest 
was  a  flank  of  Jebel  Tauran,  which  projected  as  a  prominent 
bluff,  the  face  of  which  formed  a  high  and  almost  perpendicular 
cliff,  through  the  centre  of  which  was  a  canon-looking  gulch  cleav- 
ing it  from  top  to  bottom.  The  height  of  this,  if  any  reliance  can 
be  given  to  a  rough  calculation  based  on  its  altitude  as  taken  by 
our  captain,  must  have  been  over  2000  feet,  which  would  almost 
put  the  crevasse-like  opening  on  a  par  with  a  Western-American 

Bir  d  Mdshiyah. — A  few  miles  to  the  north  of  this  is  the  head* 

land  of  Bir  el  Mashiyah,  at  which  place  another  opportunity  was 

given  for  visiting  the  shore.     Here  there  is  decided  evidence  that 

the  land  of  this  gulf  and,  probably  in  connection  with  it,  that  of 

^ ,  its  neighbour  the  Gulf  of  Suez,  are  rapidly  rising. 

\l*y  Running  from  the  granite  hills,  which  here  recede  some  three 

or  four  miles  from  the  shore-line,  across  a  gently  sloping  plane 
which  joins  them  with  the  sea,  there  are  numerous  regularly 
built  mounds,  like  so  many  partially  completed  railway  embank- 
ments, reaching  from  the  mountains  to  within  half  a  mile  of  the 
water's  edge.  These  appear  externally  to  be  made  up  of  mate- 
.V'  rials  derived  from  the  hills  from  the  foot  of  which  they  spring ; 

i:<  but  at  several  points  a  white  rock  can  be  seen  cropping  out,  show* 





ing  this  detrital  matter  to  be  only  a  covering.  This  rock  is  a 
pare  soft  lime-stone  of  coarse  texture,  on  the  surface  of  nearly 
every  square  foot  of  which  the  section  of  a  coral  can  be  seen ; 
but  these,  along  with  other  fossils  collected,  remain  yet  to  be 

The  only  one  of  these  mounds  which  I  had  an  opportunity  of 
examining  was  about  90  feet  in  height,  and  showed  an  exposure 
of  about  30  feet  of  this  limestone,  as  measured  from  its  base, 
which  is  about  10  feet  above  sea-level.  From  this  it  would 
appear  that  there  must  have  been  an  elevation  of  at  least  40  feet. 

From  this  place  up  to  Akaba  there  are  many  of  these  old  reefs, 
indicated  by  the  numerous  white  patches  which  protrude  through 
the  heaps  of  dark-coloured  debris  from  the  granite  mountains, 
most  of  which  are  at  much  higher  elevations  than  the  one  just 
referred  to,  some  being  especially  visible  on  the  flat  plain  near 

In  confirmation  of  these  indications  of  an  elevation,  I  may  add 
that  Captain  Evans,  a  Commodore  of  the  P.  &  0.  Co.'s  fleet, 
stated  to  me  that  in  the  Gulf  of  Suez  there  are  reefs  which 
twenty  years  ago  could  with  impunity  have  been  sailed  over,  but 
have  now  to  be  avoided,  the  two  most  remarkable  of  these 
being: — one  at  the  entrance  to  the  Gulf  of  Suez,  where  the 
soundings  which  were  at  one  time  7  and  7I  fathoms,  are  now 
only  3  and  3  J  fathoms ;  and  the  other  at  the  head  of  the  gulf, 
called  the  Newport  shoal,  where  there  is  a  like  decrease  in 

1  am  told  that  indications  of  a  shallowing  of  the  water  in  these 
seas  may  be  seen  by  comparing  an  old  chart  with  one  of  recent 
construction ;  the  origin  of  it,  apparently,  can  only  be  accounted 
for  in  one  of  two  ways — by  an  elevation  of  the  sea-bottom,  or  a 
piling-up  of  drifted  materials  by  currents. 

As  an  additional  proof  of  this  rising  of  the  land,  I  may  quote 
from  Dr.  Beke  the  official  report  of  the  British  Consul  at  Jeddab, 
on  the  Arabian  Coast,  who  says,  "the  sea  on  that  coast  is 
gradually  receding,  owing  to  the  formation  of  coral  reefs,"  the 
geological  interpretation  of  which  is  evidently  that  the  coast-line 
is  being  elevated. 

That  such  elevations  and  perhaps  oscillations  should  take 
place  is  not  unnatural,  considering  the  wonderfully  volcanic 
nature  of  the  adjoining  peninsula  of  Arabia,  examples  of  which 
may  be  seen  in  the  Trachonitis  of  Wetzstein  or  the  Hauran  of 
Burton  and  Drake  in  the  north,  and  the  many  traces  of  varied 
volcanic  phenomena  from  the  shores  of  the  Persian  Gulf  in  the 
east  to  Jemen  in  the  south-west  In  addition  to  these  already 
known  localities,  it  may  be  stated,  on  the  authority  of  Yakut, 



the  Arabian  geographer  of  the  thirteenth  century,  that  many, 
although  once  chronicled,  now  remain  to  be  rediscovered.  No 
less  than  28  harras,  or  volcanic  districts,  are  described  and  their 
position  identified  by  him,  all  of  which  are  to  be  found  in  the 
highlands  and  interior  of  the  peninsula.  The  list  of  these  is 
as  follows : — 

Harra  of  Aut&s. 

Takda  or  Nudka. 

Harra  of  Abbad. 
























Banu  Hilal. 

Referring  to  the  above  list  I  may  quote  the  following  para- 
graph from  Dr.  Beke's  pamphlet, '  Mount  Sinai  a  Volcano ' : — * 

"  Among  the  numerous  volcanoes  found  to  exist  within  the 
Arabian  peninsula,  the  only  one  known  to  have  been  in  activity 
within  the  historic  period  is  the  Harrat  el  Nar  ('fire-harra') 
situate  to  the  north-east  of  Medina  in  the  neighbourhood  of 
Khaibur,  in  about  260  30'  north  latitude,  and  400  east  longitude ; 
which,  besides  being  traditionally  said  to  have  been  in  an  active 
state  six  centuries  before  Mohammed,  had  actually  an  eruption 
in  the  time  of  the  prophet's  successor,  Omar.  To  the  north-west 
of  this  '  fire-harra'  lies  that  known  as  the  Harra  of  (the  tribe  of) 
Udhra :  again,  to  the  north  of  this,  is  the  Harra  of  Tabuk,  so 
called  from  the  station  of  that  name  on  the  Hadj  road  from 
Damascus  to  Mekka,  the  position  of  which  is  about  280  15'  north 
latitude  and  370  east  longitude  ;  and  beyond  this  last,  further  to 
the  north,  and  consequently  between  it  and  the  northernmost 
Harra  of  the  Eadjil,  or  Trachonitis,  is  the  Harra  Radjla." 

Rocks  from  Bit  d  M&shiyah. 

(These  are  all  taken  from  dykes.    The  first  two  hare  been  determined 


1.  Diorite,  a  greenish-grey  compact  rock,  the  character  of  which  is  almost 
entirely  disguised.  

*  Published  by  Tinsley  Brothers,  London,  1875,  p.  12. 


2.  Felsite  with  epidote  and  chlorite,    Id  general  appearance  this  is  a  compact, 

fine-gTained,  light-green  rock,  not  nnlike  an  epidosite. 

3.  Porphyritic  micaceous  granite.    The  base  of  this,  through  which  large 

white  crystals  of  felspar  are  disseminated,  is  irregular  in  texture,  being 
mostly  composed  of  small  flakes  of  a  dark-coloured  mica. 

4.  Porphyry  consisting  of  a  compact,  dark  purple  base,  and  well-defined 

crystals  of  pink  orthoclase. 

Omaidcr  to  Akaba. — Opposite  to  Omaider  on  the  Sinaitic  side, 
flat-topped  outliers  are  to  be  seen  capping  the  granite.  These 
are  of  a  yellowish  colour  and  apparently  soft,  and  at  this  place 
show  a  regular  stratification,  dipping  30  or  40  towards  the  north. 
In  the  distance,  between  gaps  in  these  hills,  a  lone  flat-topped 
mountain  or  edge  of  a  tableland  is  visible,  apparently  composed 
of  the  same  material  as  the  outliers,  which  afterwards  proved  to 
be  a  soft  whitish  limestone.  On  the  west  coast  these  outliers 
are  more  or  less  continuous  up  to  the  head  of  the  gulf,  whilst 
on  the  east  side  there  is  only  the  granite  and  its  long  heaps  of 
debris  stretching  down  towards  the  shore.  Looking  at  these 
outliers  from  a  distance,  it  is  at  once  noticed  that  the  granite 
surface  on  which  they  rest  is  invariably  flat,  showing  that  it  had 
been  planed  down  to  an  even  surface  before  the  deposition  of 
the  superincumbent  beds,  which  in  their  turn,  by  the  comparison 
of  the  flat  tops  they  now  cover  with  the  adjoining  serrated  ridges 
of  granite,  which  at  one  time  it  is  probable  that  they  also  over- 
spread, show  the  immense  amount  of  denudation  that  has  been 
going  on  since  their  removal. 

WadyAraba  (see  figs.  1  and  2). — When  within  five  or  six  miles 
of  Akaba,  the  relation  of  this  gulf  to  the  broad  and  open  valley 
of  the  Araba,  leading  northwards  towards  the  Dead  Sea,  is  strik- 
ingly observable.  Although  upon  the  east  and  west  the  ground 
is  high,  before  one  (to  the  north)  it  is  so  level  that  it  is  almost 
impossible  to  indicate  the  point  at  which  the  sea  and  land  meet. 
Looking  up  this  trench  from  the  south,  in  the  distance  the 
mountains  upon  the  right  and  left  appear  to  grow  lower,  until 
by  sloping  downwards  they  finally  vanish  in  two  points  upon  a 
line  forming  an  horizon  for  earth,  sea,  and  sky. 

Looking  at  the  map,  it  will  be  seen  that  the  Gulf  of  Akaba 
forms  one  extremity  of  a  long  north-and-south  hill-bound  trough, 
the  other  extremity  of  which  is  beyond  the  Lake  of  Gennesareth, 
at  the  northern  end  of  the  valley  of  the  Jordan,  a  distance  of  more 
than  200  miles.  An  east-and-west  profile  across  this  trough,  taken 
a  few  miles  above  Akaba,  is  represented  by  the  eastern  end  of  the 
section  (fig.  1). 

When  standing  in  it  you  appear  to  be  in  an  almost  flat  valley, 
about  five  miles  in  width,  having  no  perceptible  rise  towards  the 




3     ■««*+■*«■»*- 






north,  but  to  the  east  and  west  rising  gently  towards  the  flanks  of 
precipitous  granite  hills,  its  deepest  portion,  which  is  marked  by 
a  northand-south  line  of  vegetation,  being  nearer  to  its  western 
side  than  to  its  eastern,  as  shown  in  the  section.  By  actual  ob- 
servation, however,  it  appears  that  the  boundaries,  which  are 
apparently  hills,  are  only  the  serrated  edges  of  two  tablelands, 
which  on  either  side  rise  about  2000  feet  above  the  sea — broadly 
speaking,  the  western  one  being  chiefly  granite  capped  with  lime- 
stone, and  the  eastern  one  being  granite  capped  with  sandstone 
and  conglomerate.  The  consequence  of  this  is,  that  the  high 
mountains,  as  seen  from  Akaba  and  the  Araba,  are  from  the 
tableland  comparatively  low  hills. 

Taking  a  section  from  south  to  north,  from  Akaba  up  the 
Araba,  through  the  Dead  Sea  and  up  the  valley  of  the  Jordan 
past  Gennesareth  (fig.  2),  it  will  be  seen  that  the  greater  portion  of 
the  surface  of  this  ground  is  below  the  level  of  the  sea,  and  all  that 
separates  the  Dead  Sea,  which  is  in  a  depression  about  1300  feet 
below  the  neighbouring  oceans,  from  the  Gulf  of  Akaba  is  a 
slight  rise  of  from  200  to  500  feet. 

Therefore,  should  there  have  been  an  elevation  of  the  land  in 
operation,  as  appears  to  be  indicated,  it  is  very  probable  that  at 
no  very  remote  geological  period  the  Gulf  of  Akaba  extended 
many  miles  further  to  the  north,  having  been  bounded  on  its 
east  and  west  sides  by  the  before-mentioned  high  tablelands; 
and  should  this  ancient  gulf  be  restored  (which  would  apparently 
be  an  engineering  work  far  less  difficult  than  the  recently-con- 
structed trench  between  Suez  and  Port  Said),  Jerusalem,  Damas- 
cus, and  other  Syrian  towns  would  again  be  in  communication 
with  the  Indian  Ocean,  and  fleets  like  those  of  Solomon  might 
ply  up  and  down  the  now  entirely  deserted  Gulf  of  Akaba. 

The  section  illustrating  this  depression  (fig.  2),  which  will 
explain  itself,  is  only  an  approximation,  and  is  here  used  to  add 
my  observations  to  similar  ones  that  have  been  made  by  others 
on  this  singularly  interesting  depression. 

Akaba. — At  Akaba  (fig.  2),  as  at  many  other  places,  the  granite 
is  traversed  by  so  many  dykes  that  they  could  not  but  take  part 
in  the  formation  of  peaks.  Their  general  direction  is  in  a  parallel 
line  towards  the  north-east,  and  at  a  high  angle  of  inclination  to 
the  south-east. 

Behind  Akaba,  two  good  analogous  sections  are  to  be  seen  on  the 
eastern  side  of  Wady  Araba,  at  the  entrance  to  a  small  wady  called 
Wady  Ithem  [Etham].  The  surface  of  the  ground  through  which 
these  sections  are  cut  commences  about  half  a  mile  from  the  sea, 
and  terminates  at  a  distance  of  a  little  over  a  mile,  sloping  at  an 
angle  of  about  30  up  towards  the  mountains.     The  distance  apart 


of  these  sections  at  their  upper  or  eastern -end,  where  they  are 
about  30  feet  in  height,  is  about  100  yards,  and  at  their  lower  or 
western  end,  where  they  merge  into  the  sloping  plane  through 
which  they  are  cut,  about  half  a  mile. 

Looking  at  these  generally,  they  consist  of  a  mass  of  earth, 
pebbles,  and  boulders,  lying  on  the  denuded  edges  of  granitic 
rocks  and  felspathic  dykes.  The  pebbles  and  boulders  are  of  the 
same  nature  as  the  rocks  on  which  they  lie ;  and  at  the  eastern 
end  of  the  sections  near  the  mountains  it  would  appear  that  the 
pebbles,  and  especially  the  boulders,  are  not  only  larger  but  also 
more  angular  than  those  a  mile  farther  away. 

The  mode  of  accumulation  of  the  upper  stratum  of  alluvial 
material  is  strikingly  shown  at  several  points  along  the  section. 
The  material,  starting  from  the  mountains  (which  at  one  time 
probably  extended  a  short  distance  westwards),  through  various 
causes,  but  chiefly  that  of  gravity,  gradually  travelled  down  the 
slope  towards  the  sea.  On  coming  to  a  hollow  it  steadily  filled  it, 
the  stones  of  each  layer  rolling  over  their  predecessors  until  the 
original  slope  was  regained,  the  result  of  which  has  been  to 
give,  at  different  points  along  the  section,  several  groups  of 
radiating  bands. 

The  granite  is  of  a  pinkish  colour,  and  consists  chiefly  of  felspar 
and  a  little  quartz,  whilst  the  mica  is  barely  visible.  It  contains 
numerous  dykes,  which  vary  from  dark  green  to  olive-green  in 
colour.  At  the  junction  of  several  of  these  with  the  granite,  and 
running  through  them  both,  are  flakes  of  white  carbonate  of  lime 
about  J  inch  in  thickness,  and  having  a  glistening  crystalline 
surface  which  fill  up  joints  in  the  rock.  All  the  rock  containing 
this  carbonate  of  lime  (not  only  the  dykes  but  also  the  granite) 
crumbles  under  the  hammer  like  a  dry  clay,  whilst  at  the  distance 
of  a  yard  from  the  dykes,  where  this  carbonate  of  lime  does  not 
exist,  the  stone  is  hard  and  compact,  and  when  struck  gives  a 
sharp  clear  ring. 

Rocks  from  Akaba. 
(The  first  three  of  these  were  examined  microscopically.) 

1.  Dolerite,  large-grained,  containing  some  aeicnlar  crystal*,  which  are 

probably  apatite.    This  is  an  even-grained  compact  rock  of  a  reddish- 
grey  colour. 

2.  Dolerite  similar  to  No.  1  ;  bnt  the  felspar  is  more  degraded,  and  the 

rock  itself  of  rather  a  darker  colour. 

3.  Syenite  with  altered  hornblende,  orthoclase,  a  little  triclinic  felspar, 

mica  and  quart*.     In  general  appearance  the  rock  is  very  like  Nos.  1 
and  2. 

4.  Granite,  of  a  pinkish-white  colour,  and  with  a  scarcity  of  mica.     From 

the  vicinity  of  a  doleritic  dyke. 

APfENDlX.  539 

5.  Granite,  consisting  of  white  and  pink  fotapBc,  mica,  and  quartz. 

6.  Granite,  with  chlorite,  and  fissures  filled  with  crystalline  calcite. 

7.  Granite  with  more  chlorite  than  No.  6. 

From  Akaba  our  journey  eastwards  was  confined  to  Wady  I  them 
[Etham]  and  the  various  wadies  and  plains  which  branch  out  of  it 

General  appearance  of  Mountain-Wadies. — These  wadies,  winding 
in  and  out  between  the  granite  hills,  may  be  described  as  narrow 
defiles  of  great  length.  They  vary  in  width  from  100  yards  to 
half  a  mile,  and  wind  in  and  out  between  almost  perpendicular 
walls  of  granite,  making  the  approach  to  every  turn  or  bend  in 
their  course  appear  as  if  it  were  a  terminus. 

Under  foot  are  large  boulders,  stones  of  various  sizes,  small 
pebbles  and  sand,  giving  the  place  the  appearance  of  a  dried-up 
channel,  which  formed  the  bed  of  some  large  and  rapid  river. 
On  inquiry  it  was  found  that  no  body  of  water  ever  flowed  down 
these  defiles — a  fact  that  might  have  been  anticipated  by  observing 
that  the  beds  of  grit  and  sand  were  cut  through  by  small  channels 
not  6  inches  in  depth,  instead  of  being  left,  as  would  have  been  the 
case  in  a  river,  in  one  flat  stone-covered  surface.  Whilst  amongst 
these  mountains,  I  experienced  three  days  of  continuous  rain,  after 
which  I  did  not  see  anywhere  more  than  the  faintest  trickling  of 
water — from  which  fact,  in  conjunction  with  others,  I  think  we 
may  conclude  that  in  these  wadies  there  are  conditions  very  analo- 
gous to  those  of  river-beds,  but  that  in  their  formation  water  has 
played  but  little  part. 

Another  striking  phenomenon  of  these  wadies  is  the  presence 
of  perfectly  perpendicular  walls  of  debris,  which  often  form  boun- 
daries upon  both  right  and  left. 

These  walls  vary  considerably  in  their  height ;  sometimes  they 
are  only  1  or  2  feet  in  height,  but  generally  from  6  to  10  feet, 
whilst  in  many  places,  by  actual  measurement,  they  were  from 
30  to  60  feet,  and  occasionally  even  still  higher.  The  lower  ones 
(which  are  more  generally  met  with)  are  formed  of  greyish  gritty 
sand  and  small  pebbles,  and,  as  compared  with  the  higher  walls 
made  up  of  sand,  stones  like  cocoa-nuts,  and  large  boulders,  are 
of  a  noticeably  fine  material — the  former  looking  like  a  face  of 
Roman  cement,  and  the  others  like  a  conglomerate. 

The  most  striking  point,  however,  about  these  walls,  especially 
in  those  about  6  or  10  feet  in  height,  is  the  almost  perfect  and 
unbroken  square  edge  they  form  with  the  plain  from  which  they 
descend,  these  clear  edges  being  in  lengths  varying  from  a  few 
yards  up  to  100  yards.  Comparing  the  various  walls  together, 
it  is  seen  that  these  several  characters  depend  upon  the  fineness 
or  coarseness  of  the  materials  of  which  they  are  composed ;  and 
it  may.  be  generally  stated  that  their  length,  their  fine  finish, 


and  the  squareness  of  edge  they  form  with  the  upper  plain,  vary 
inversely  with  their  coarseness,  whilst  their  height  varies  directly ; 
the  coarser  the  materia],  the  higher  the  wall.  In  taking  a  section 
transversely  to  the  length  of  one  of  these  wadies,  we  may  obtain 
a  step-like  outline  descending  from  the  mountains  on  either  side ; 
but  more  generally  the  form  obtained  is  that  of  two  rapid  slopes 
from  the  hills,  each  terminating  in  a  wall,  leaving  between  them 
the  level  central  part  of  the  wady9  described  as  being  in  some 
respects  analogous  to  a  river  channel.  This  central  channel,  in 
which  the  boulders,  which  are  often  of  great  size,  are  found 
lying  in  heaps  and  lines  parallel  to  the  bounding  walls,  may 
vary  from  50  to  200  yards  in  width.  From  the  same  characters 
being  often  seen  in  opposite  walls,  it  is  probable  that  before  an 
initial  slope  was  formed,  down  which  water  and  materials  in 
general  would  tend  to  travel,  they  were  joined  from  side  to  side. 

Their  growth  into  the  truly  perpendicular  forms  which  they 
now  present,  evidently  arises  from  the  materials  of  which  they 
are  built  up  being  so  regularly  disposed  that  there  is  nothing 
left  to  produce  unequal  disintegration ;  that  is  to  say,  a  dis- 
integration commenced  at  any  one  point  is  at  once  or  very 
rapidly  carried  in  a  perpendicular  direction  equally  over  the  plain 
in  which  the  commencement  of  the  disintegration  took  place,  the 
materials  being  so  loosely  placed  together  that  for  support  they 
are  mutually  dependent ;  take  one  particle  away  and  its  neigh- 
bour falla  This  cliff-formation  is  strikingly  seen  in  the  lower 
and  more  common  of  these  walls,  which  are  made  up  of  pebbles, 
grit,  and  sand.  On  attempting  to  walk  within  a  foot  of  the 
upper  edge  of  one  of  these,  a  vertical  layer  separates  from  the 
top  of  the  wall  and  falls  to  form  a  conical  heap  below,  which  is 
afterwards  removed  by  wind  and  water.  In  nature,  however, 
instead  of  an  external  pressure  acting  on  the  upper  surface,  a 
similar  result  is  produced  by  the  action  of  the  little  water  which 
occasionally  trickles  down  these  wadies,  and  still  more  by  the 
almost  continuous  working  of  a  sand-drift  along  the  lower  portion 
of  the  face  of  these  walls,  by  which  they  are  slightly  under- 
mined. When  sufficiently  undermined  in  this  way  (seldom  more 
than  6  inches),  the  unsupported  material  above,  having  little  or 
no  lateral  attachment  to  the  contiguous  mass,  of  necessity  falla 
After  a  little  rain  this  action  is  strikingly  rapid,  the  slight  bond 
between  the  particles  being  loosened  by  the  soaking-in  of  the 

As  these  walls  are  cut  further  back  and  approach  the  hills,  the 
mass  of  material  in  which  they  are  formed  being  thicker,  they 
are  naturally  higher,  in  addition  to  which  it  may  be  noted  that 
they  are  also  coarser  and  have  lost  much  of  their  smooth  finish, 


which  latter  character  is  apparently  due  to  the  larger  masses  of 
which  they  are  built  up  having  more  hold  upon  each  other,  one 
of  them  not  moving  without  disturbing  its  neighbour. 

Had  the  materials  of  which  these  walls  are  built  been  inter- 
laminated  or  cemented  in  any  way,  no  portion  of  it  could  have 
given  way  without  disturbing  that  which  was  contiguous  to  it, 
by  acting  on  it  as  a  cantilever. 

This  may  be  looked  at  generally  by  considering  cliffs  or  walls 
the  component  parts  of  which  are  so  arranged  that  their  greatest 
length  lies  in  a  horizontal  direction.  In  such  walls,  where  we 
get  this  horizontal  interlamination,  whether  of  massive  bands  of 
rock,  fissile  shales,  or  only  layers  of  stone,  on  their  being  under- 
mined,  generally  speaking,  no  portion  of  them  can  give  way 
without  disturbing  those  parts  with  which  they  are  in  contact, 
especially  those  lying  above,  which,  cantilever-like,  they  tend  to 
prize  upwards  and  then  cause  to  fall  outwards,  this  outward 
tendency  being  aided  by  the  material  from  above  slipping  down 
over  that  which  has  fallen  from  below.  The  result  of  this  is  the 
production  of  a  slope,  instead  of  a  clear  perpendicular  wall,  such 
as  is  produced  by  the  direct  fall  of  an  uncemented  fine  material. 

The  unbroken  edges  of  these  cliffs,  although  in  part  due  to 
the  nature  and  arrangement  of  the  material  of  which  they  are 
formed,  are  also  in  part  due  to  a  cause  similar  to  that  assigned 
for  the  unworn  edges  of  some  of  the  American  canons,  namely, 
the  comparative  absence  of  rain — the  little  that  does  fall  being 
hardly  sufficient  to  affect  those  of  coarse  material,  whilst  those 
made  of  fine  material  are  immediately  soaked,  and  the  under- 
mined portions  at  once  fall  instead  of  remaining  to  be  channelled 
down  with  gutters. 

It  has  been  observed  that  the  great  heaps  and  long  lines  of 
boulders,  so  often  seen  in  the  centre  and  other  parts  of  these 
wadies,  can  hardly  be  thought  to  have  assumed  their  rounded 
forms  and  to  have  come  into  their  present  positions  bv  the 
agency  of  water  (which  at  first  sight  is  so  suggestive  both  as  a 
motive  power  and  also  as  a  polishing  agent),  the  district  being 
riverless  and  also,  comparatively  speaking,  rainless. 

The  reason  of  their  waterworn  appearance  is  apparently  in 
great  part  due  to  the  cutting  effect  of  an  almost  perpetual  sand- 
blast ;  but  the  cause  of  the  central  position  they  so  commonly 
occupy  is  not  so  obvious.  It  may  have  been  acquired  by  their 
having  simply  rolled  down  the  sides  of  the  mountains  when  they 
extended  further  into  the  wadies  than  they  do  at  present ;  but  in 
many  cases  it  is  probable  that  the  descent  was  far  more  gradual. 
Whilst  riding  along  the  base  of  some  of  the  cliffs  of  sand  and 
conglomerate  just  described,  on  looking  up,  long  lines  of  boulders 


were  often  seen  waiting  to  be  undermined  and  to  fall  below. 
Many  could  be  seen  that  had  fallen,  whilst  others  were  barely 
balanced  and  ready  to  topple  over  on  the  least  disturbance. 

Each  time  one  of  these  falls  it  travels  a  certain  distance  for- 
wards ;  and  as  cliffs  are  continually  being  formed  in  the  centre 
of  the  wady  to  work  back  towards  the  hills,  steps  are  continually 
approaching  these  boulders,  down  which  they  may  roll  and 
approach  the  central  line  of  cliff-formation,  where  those  from 
one  side  of  the  valley  meet,  stop,  and  accumulate  with  those 
coming  from  the  opposite  side. 

Such  modes  of  transit  as  these  may  be  suggestive  in  account- 
ing for  the  presence  of  erratic  blocks  so  often  seen  not  only  in 
various  parts  of  Arabia,  but  also  in  other  countries,  as,  for  ex- 
ample, in  Persia,  where  they  have  been  seen  to  have  travelled 
distances  of  five  and  six  miles — in  certain  cases,  perhaps  giving 
a  clue  to  those  phenomena  which  otherwise  might  have  found  a 
satisfactory  solution  either  in  a  coat  of  glaciers  or  a  sea  of  icebergs. 

In  the  cases  quoted  large  blocks  have  apparently  travelled  dis- 
tances of  a  quarter  of  a  mile  by  the  breaking  down  of  about  a 
hundred  feet  of  modern  alluvium.  How  far,  it  may  be  asked, 
would  blocks  have  travelled  had  the  strata  measured  thousands 
instead  of  hundreds  of  feet  1 

With  regard,  therefore,  to  the  general  appearance  of  the  beds 
of  these  mountain  wadies,  it  may  be  briefly  stated,  in  conclusion, 
that  their  characters  are,  in  the  main,  rather  due  to  a  stream  of 
sand  than  to  water ;  small  furrows  formed  in  the  central  parts  of 
the  wady  retreat  towards  the  hills  by  being  undermined  and  then 
falling  by  their  weight.  By  this  failing,  boulders,  often  20  feet 
in  diameter,  are  rolled  forward,  and  strewn  across  the  plain  from 
the  hills  towards  a  central  line  in  which  they  accumulate.  Whilst 
all  this  is  going  on,  an  almost  continuous  draft  of  air  up  or  down 
these  funnel-like  defiles  is  in  operation,  carrying  sand  to  polish 
the  scattered  debris,  thus  helping  in  the  production  of  appearances 
not  unlike  those  of  some  ancient  river-bed,  in  which  action  it  is 
aided  by  a  slight  trickling  of  water  after  the  winter  showers. 

SancLUasL — Having  spoken  of  the  movement  of  sand  as  an 
agent  in  the  undermining  of  cliffs  and  the  polishing  of  rocks, 
although,  perhaps,  often  before  observed  by  others,  I  may  here 
mention  what  was  seen  of  its  other  effects  in  these  districts. 

A  great  portion  of  the  country  lying  between  Nakhl  and  Suez 
is  covered  with  a  thick  superficial  deposit  of  fine  reddish  sand, 
which,  like  all  other  sand,  is  set  in  motion  whenever  there  is  the 
slightest  movement  in  the  air. 

This,  although  an  almost  perpetual  action,  is  only  to  be  seen 
under  very  favourable  circumstances.      By  placing  yourself  so 


that  the  sandbank,  or  piece  of  ground  yon  are  observing,  is 
between  yourself  and  the  sun,  a  slight  smoke-like  vapour,  which 
from  other  positions  would  be  invisible,  is  to  be  seen  sweeping 
over  the  surface  of  the  ground.  The  presence  of  this  drift  may 
also  be  recognised  by  placing  the  face  within  10  or  12  inches  of 
the  ground,  when  fine  particles  of  sand  will  be  seen  rolling  along 
over  each  other ;  and  on  putting  the  ear  near  to  these  a  slight 
rustling  noise  may  often  be  detected. 

By  taking  a  flat  piece  of  wood  and  using  it  as  a  straight-edge, 
I  made  several  practically  level  patches  of  ground,  on  which  I 
was  enabled  to  see  the  action  of  the  drift  in  the  formation  of 
ridges.  Although  when  standing  up  no  movement  in  the  sand 
could  be  detected,  yet  on  stooping  down  I  perceived  that  ridges 
were  being  formed,  not  simultaneously  over  the  whole  surface, 
but  commencing  to  windward.  The  crest  of  each  of  these  small 
undulations  appeared  to  be  invariably  covered  with  the  redder 
particles  of  sand,  whilst  the  yellow  ones  were  left  in  the  hollows. 

In  the  case  of  larger  ridges,  which  were  about  6  inches  in  height, 
their  crests  were  composed  of  the  larger  particles,  which,  as  far  as 
colour  was  concerned,  could  not  be  distinguished  from  those  form- 
ing the  hollows.  Small  movements  of  this  description  are  con- 
stantly going  on;  but  in  a  gale,  judging  from  experience,  the 
results  must  be  considerably  greater.  When  a  moderately  heavy 
wind  is  blowing,  it  is  almost  impossible  to  face  the  "blast" 
On  your  hands  a  tingling  sensation  is  felt;  and  on  lowering 
them  towards  the  ground  this  rapidly  and  irregularly  increases  in 
power  until  they  are  within  a  foot  of  the  ground,  when  it  becomes 
unbearable,  the  feeling  produced  being  not  unlike  that  occasioned 
by  drawing  off  the  keeper  of  an  electro-magnetic  machine.1 

Another  and  more  important  action  of  the  sand-drift  is  the 
cutting  of  the  surface  of  all  stones  which  are  exposed  upon  the 
desert — a  fact  which  has  often  before  been  noticed,  and  may  be 
well  exemplified  by  the  Sphinx  near  Cairo,  and  two  faces  of 
Cleopatra's  Needle  at  Alexandria3  Portions  which  are  buried, 
or  otherwise  protected,  are  not  cut,  the  consequence  being  that 
almost  every  stone,  when  picked  up,  presents  two  surfaces  which 
differ  in  appearance,  one  being  uneven  and  rough,  whilst  the 
other  is  pitted  and  polished.  In  the  district  especially  referred 
to,  near  Nakhl,  where  the  stones  scattered  in  the  desert  are 
chiefly  limestone,  the  definite  character  given  to  them  by  this 
sand  is  such  that  it  could  not  be  seen  without  being  remarked. 

1  See  Dr.  Beta's  description  of  the  violent  storm  at  Akaba  on  the  night  of 
February  6th,  1874,  chap.  viii. 

*  Lately  brought  to  England,  and  now  about  to  be  erected  on  the  Thames 


All  have  a  peculiar  polish,  looking  as  if  they  had  been  smeared 
with  grease,  a  lustre  nearly  represented  in  the  fractured  surface 
of  some  specimens  of  witherite. 

In  addition  to  this,  they  are  all,  more  or  less,  pitted  with  small 
cup-shaped  hollows,  which  apparently  indicate  the  softer  portions 
of  the  stone.  Some  few  have  cut  upon  their  surfaces  curious 
worm-shaped  furrows;  whilst  others  have  exhibited  such  dif- 
ferences in  hardness  that  their  softer  portions  have  been  so  far 
cut  into  and  carried  away  that  the  remainder  is  as  ragged  in  its 
outline  as  the  root  of  a  tree,  for  which  in  many  instances  they 
might  readily  be  mistaken. 

Should  these  stones  hereafter  become  completely  buried,  as 
many  already  are,  future  investigators  will  find  in  them  marks 
as  clearly  indicative  of  their  origin  as  the  rounded  forms  of  water- 
worn  pebbles  or  the  angular  and  scratched  faces  in  beds  of  glacial 
drift  Just  as  we  infer  from  the  latter  the  existence  of  former 
glaciers,  so  will  they  infer  the  former  presence  of  deserts  and 

Bocks  from  Wady  Ithem  (the  first  five  of  these  were  examined 
microscopically) : — 

1.  Diabase,  dark  greenish  in  colour,  compact  and  tough. 

2.  Diabase,  more  compact  than  No.   i,   from  which  it  also  differs  in 

containing  a  small  quantity  of  disseminated  iron  pyrites. 

3.  Dolerite,  blackish  green,  dense  and  compact 

4.  Hornstone,  whitish  green,  compact,  crystalline,  traversed  by  fine  fissures 

containing  carbonate  of  lime. 

5.  Dolerite,  greenish  grey  and  compact. 

6.  Granite,  pinkish  in  colour  and  with  little  mica. 

7.  Felsite,  pinkish  in  colour,  containing  a  very  little  hornblende. 

8.  Porphyry,  a  pinkish  base,  with  white  crystals  of  felspar  and  a  very 

little  hornblende.  * 

9.  Porphyry,  differs  from  No.  8  in  being  slightly  darker  in  colour. 

10.  Granite,  greyish  in  colour,  of  a  coarse  texture,  and  somewhat  por- 


11.  Granite,  pinkish  in  colour,  with  bronze-coloured  mica. 

12.  Porphyry,  of  a  pink  colour,  with  hornblende. 

13.  Prophyry,  differs  from  No.  12  in  being  of  a  greenish  grey  colour. 

14.  Porphyry,  fine-grained  and  without  hornblende. 

15.  Granite,  consisting  of  felspar,  mica,  and  very  little  quarts. 

16.  Granulitic  granite. 

17.  Quartz-porphyry,  of  a  pinkish  colour. 

18.  Porphyry,  of  a  bluish  grey  colour. 

19.  Syenite,  of  a  dark-green  colour,  containing  very  little  quartz,  and  very 

little  hornblende. 
2a  Porphyry,  pinkish  grey  and  fine-grained. 
21.  Porphyry,  with  hornblende. 

With  regard  to  the  granitic  hills  lying  between  Akaba  and 
Petra,  as  they  have  so  many  points  in  common,  a  description  of 
one  of  them  may,  in  many  respects,  suffice  for  the  remainder. 





■V)  qw«w*tT  pq»f 













The  one  selected  is  Mount  Baghir,1  also  known  as  Jebel-e'-Nur 
or  the  "  Mountain  of  Light,"  which  by  Dr.  Beke  has  been  identi- 
fied as  the  True  "  Mount  Sinai "  (see  fig.  2). 

This  mountain,  which  is  situated  on  the  east  side  of  Wady  Araba, 
and  on  the  west  side  of  Wady  [Etham]  I  them,  which  it  overhangs, 
is  about  100  miles  in  a  north-easterly  direction  from  the  tradi- 
tional Sinai,  and  1 2  miles  from  the  fortress  of  Akaba.  In  its 
general  outline  it  is  bold,  terminating  in  three  well-defined  small 
peaks,  which  distinguish  it  from  the  surrounding  hills.  Measured 
from  the  plain,  out  of  which  it  rises,  it  is  about  3000  feet  in  height, 
or  about  5000  feet  above  sea-level.  It  consists  of  a  mass  of  red  or 
pinkish  granite,  which  in  places  where  it  is  much  weathered  is  of 
a  dark  brown  hue.  In  those  places  where  disintegration  has 
been  at  work,  the  felspar  and  lighter  mica  have  to  a  great  extent 
been  washed  away,  leaving  a  rough  gravelly  surface  of  quartz, 
which  crumbles  under  the  feet.  This  granite  contains  compara- 
tively but  little  mica ;  and  in  places  it  merges  into  quartz  and 
massive  felspar  alone.  On  the  north-west  side  of  the  mountain 
a  portion  of  the  granite  looks  at  a  distance  like  a  coarse  brownish 
yellow  sandstone,  weathering  with  rounded  surface,  in  which 
many  cavities  can  be  seen,  generally  about  the  size  of  a  cocoa- 
nut.  In  several  large  boulders  of  this  rock  these  cavities  have  so 
increased  in  size  as  to  be  now  represented  by  small  caves,  one  of 
which  was  about  20  feet  in  diameter  and  10  or  12  feet  in  height 
at  its  entrance,  sloping  down  with  a  dome-shaped  roof  and  curved 
sides  towards  the  back.  No  angular  forms  are  visible,  which 
shows  that  the  granite  has  flaked  off  in  curved  laminae.  On  striking 
this  rock  with  a  hammer  it  has  not  the  clear  ring  of  a  solid  stone, 
but  gives  a  dull  sound,  owing  to  the  surface  being  so  disintegrated 
and  having  the  tendency  to  split  off  in  flakes,  which  can  easily  be 
separated  with  the  sharp  edge  of  the  hammer. 

The  peaks  on  the  summit  of  this  mountain  are  composed  of 
granite ;  the  hollows  between  them  mark  the  position  and  direc- 
tion in  which  the  mass  is  traversed  by  dykes ;  and  it  may  be 
stated  as  a  general  rule  for  this  mountain,  that  the  dykes  do  not 
protrude  above  the  granite,  but  all  tend  to  produce  hollows. 
One  exception  to  this,  however,  was  seen  on  the  N.  E.  side  of  the 
mountain,  near  a  well,  where  a  dyke  formed  a  clearly-defined 
ridge  running  up  towards  the  summit  These  dykes,  which  are 
generally  of  a  dark  green  colour,  vary  in  width  from  1  foot  to  18 
feet,  and  perhaps  more.  When  struck  with  a  hammer,  in  many 
places  they  appear  to  be  quite  earthy,  crumbling  up  like  dry  clay. 
The  general  direction  of  these  and  others  in  the  neighbouring 
mountains  is  from  between  north  and  east  to  some  point  between 

1  See  Dr.  Beke's  description,  chap,  viii.,  p.  380. 

2  M 

5  46  DISCO  VER  Y  OF  MO  UNT  SINAI. 

south  and  west,  often  striking  in  long  parallel  lines  across  ridges 
of  the  hills. 

Bocks  from  Jebel  Baghir  (Sinai),  (the  first  three  of  these  were 
examined  microscopically) : — 

i.  Dolerite,  much  decomposed,  of  a  dark  colour,  loose  texture,  and  a 
greyish  exterior,  owing  to  the  weathering  of  the  felspar. 

2.  Dolerite,  portion  of  a  compact,  hard  nodule,  taken  from  the  interior  of 

the  dyke  of  which  No.  i  formed  part. 

3.  Diabase,  passing  from  porphyritic  to  aphanitic.    The  rock  is  black  and 

dense ;  no  structure  is  observable. 

4.  Granulitic  granite,  a  fine-grained  mixture  of  quarts  and  felspar,  with 

finely  distributed  mica. 

5.  Granite,  fine-grained  and  pinkish. 

6.  Mica  and  felspar,  with  very  little  hornblende,  the  whole  forming  an 

irregular  greenish  mass. 

7.  Granite,  of  a  pinkish  colour. 

8.  Granite,  nearly  all  felspar. 

Dykes. — The  prominent  part  taken  by  dykes  in  giving  the 
characteristic  ruggedness  to  these  granite  hills  has  already  been 
partially  noted,  as  will  be  seen  from  the  following  observations 
of  Dr.  Oscar  Fraas,  '  Aus  dem  Orient/  where,  at  page  15,  he 
says,  "  When  on  the  summit  of  Serbal,  in  a  circuit  of  about  1000 
metres,  rather  more  than  less,  I  counted  from  our  pinnacle  47 
peaks,  or,  as  might  be  plainly  seen  from  those  which  were 
nearest  to  us,  so  many  dykes  of  diorite  which  stood  above  the 
mass  of  granite.  In  the  course  of  the  incalculable  ages  during 
which  these  points  had  been  exposed  to  the  atmosphere,  they 
had  offered  a  different  resistance  to  the  weathering  than  had  the 
granite  with  its  felspars;  and  therefore  as  many  diorite  teeth 
stood  out  from  the  granite  bed  of  Serbal  as  you  could  count 
points  on  the  mountain.'1 

From  the  observations  made  on  these  dykes  at  the  various  local- 
ities visited,  which  in  part  are  confirmed  by  the  specimens  col- 
lected, it  would  seem  that  they  may  be  divided  into  two  classes — 
those  of  a  red  colour,  and  those  of  a  dark  green  or  black. 

As  a  general  rule  the  former  are  the  harder  of  the  two,  and 
stand  up  as  ridges  which  can  be  seen  running  up  the  sides  of  the 
mountains,  and  over  their  crests,  or  else  appearing  only  as  peaks, 
but  in  all  cases  producing  serrations ;  whilst,  on  the  other  hand, 
the  latter  are  generally  soft  and  form  trenches  and  hollows  where 
the  red  ones  would  have  formed  ridges  and  peaks.  Exceptional 
cases  are  to  be  seen  where  the  black  dykes  are  hard  and  have  re- 
sisted degradation ;  but  in  the  case  of  the  red  ones  no  exceptions 
were  seen. 

Both  classes  of  these  dykes,  like  the  granites  they  traverse,  are 

APPENDIX.  .547 

highly  fetopathies,  the  red  ones  being  generally  compact  felsites  or 
fine-grained  porphyrites,  whilst  those  of  a  darker  colour  are  gene- 
rally porphyries  in  which  small  crystals  of  felspar  are  imbedded 
in  a  dark-coloured  base. 

Traversing  several  mountains  near  to  Jebel-e'-Nur,  and  notice- 
ably one  called  Jebel  At&ghtagleh,  there  are  large  dykes  12,  14, 
and  even  20  feet  in  width,  almost  wholly  composed  of  a  soft 
material ;  yet,  through  having  hard  exteriors,  they  stand  up  so 
as  to  form  a  well-defined  wall-like  ridge.  Through  being  thus 
composed  of  a  soft  central  part  or  core  cased  in  between  two  slabs 
of  a  harder  material,  disintegration  has  acted  more  rapidly  on  the 
interior  portion  than  on  the  exterior,  and  has  cut  them  out  into 
a  trench. 

Up  one  of  these  trenches  I  ascended  Mount  Ataghtagfeh  (see 
fig.  2).  The  dyke  was  throughout  of  a  dark-green  material,  out 
slightly  lighter  in  colour  on  its  sides  than  in  the  middle.  Its 
width  was  about  12  feet ;  6  feet  of  the  central  part  was  soft  and 
crumbled  like  dry  clay  when  struck  with  the  sharp  edge  of  a 
hammer,  whilst  the  3  feet  of  casing  on  either  side  into  which  it 
graduated  was  hard  and  tough,  in  fact  much  more  so  than  the 
granite  through  which  it  pierced. 

The  result  of  examinations  of  different  portions  of  such  dykes 
as  these  is  given  in  the  following  list  of  rocks  from  Jebel 
AtAghtagieh,  from  which  it  would  appear  that  the  interior  por- 
tions of  these  dykes  are  apparently  more  siliceous,  contain  more 
olivine,  more  magnetite,  and  are  decidedly  more  calcareous  than 
the  exterior  portions ;  but  as  these  and  other  similar  specimens 
are  intended  to  form  the  subject  of  a  future  investigation,  the 
present  statement  must  be  received  provisionally. 

Rocks  from  Jebel  At&ghtagieh  (the  first  four  of  these  were  exa- 
mined microscopically) : — 

1.  Qoartsiferous  dolerite,  from  the  exterior  of  a  dyke,  of  which  No.  2  is 

the  interior.  This  is  a  dense,  olive-green-coloured  rock,  readily 
scratched  by  a  knife  to  a  light-green  streak. 

2.  Quartsiferous  dolerite  from  the  interior  of  a  dyke,  of  which  No.  1  is 

the  exterior.  This  is  of  a  reddish  colour  and  more  granular  than 
No.  1,  from  which  it  also  differs  in  being  decidedly  calcareous  and 
magnetic,  and  apparently  containing  more  olivine  and  quarts. 

3.  Basalt  from  the  exterior  of  a  dyke,  of  which  No.  4  is  the  interior. 

This  is  a  compact  and  almost  black,  even-textured  rock,  and  is 
slightly  calcareous. 

4.  Dolerite,  much  degraded,  from  the  interior  of  a  dyke,  of  which  No.  3 

is  the  exterior.  This  is  a  greenish  grey,  loose-textured,  granular 
rock,  which  is  decidedly  calcareous  and  also  magnetic 

5.  Pinkish  granite,  through  which  the  above  dykes  penetrate. 

6.  Porphyry,  red  crystals  in  a  green  base. 

7.  Porphyry,  of  a  greyish  colour,  containing  acicular  crystals  of  hornblende. 


8.  Porphyry  like  No.  7,  but  with  large  crystals  of  hornblende. 

9.  Porphyry,  a  compact  felsitic  mass. 

10.  Porphyry,  darker-coloured  than  No.  9. 

11.  Porphyry,  fine-grained  and  of  a  lavender  colour. 

Geological  Formations. — When  on  the  top  of  Mount  Baghir,  on 
looking  from  the  north,  by  the  east,  round  to  the  south-east,  flat- 
topped  hills  were  seen  which  from  their  shape  were  at  once  sus- 
pected not  to  be  granitic,-  or,  if  granitic,  to  be  capped  by  some 
other  material  This  conjecture  was  confirmed  by  visiting  the 
top  of  Mount  Ataghtagieh,  on  the  summit  of  which  there  are  two 
large  patches  of  sandstone,  each  about  100  feet  in  thickness,  which 
have  apparently  been  deposited  subsequently  to  the  formation  of 
the  granite.  The  beds,  which  are  nearly  horizontal,  have  a 
parallelism  with  the  gentle  undulations  of  what  appears  to  be  the 
denuded  surface  of  the  granite  on  which  they  rest  In  no  place 
does  the  granite  appear  to  penetrate  into  the  beds  above,  or  in 
any  way  to  break  their  even  line  of  stratification ;  nor,  on  the 
other  hand,  does  the  sandstone  descend  into  any  crevices  or 
irregularly  eroded  cavities  in  the  granite.  The  lower  beds  of  this 
sandstone,  which  are  about  3000  feet  above  sea-level,  are  composed 
of  a  coarse  quartzose  material  very  like  that  which  would  be  de- 
rived from  granite  after  the  washing  away  of  the  lighter  ma- 
terials. The  remaining  beds  higher  up,  with  the  exception  of  a 
bed  near  the  summit,  which  is  of  a  perfectly  white,  fine-grained, 
soft  sandstone,  are  composed  of  a  yellowish  gritty  sandstone. 

Although  carefully  looked  for,  no  organic  remains  were  to  be 
found.  Scattered  over  the  top  of  the  mountain  were  some  com- 
pact dark-coloured  rocks,  probably  the  remains  of  a  dyke  cutting 
through  some  neighbouring  mountain  from  which  they  have  been 

To  the  east  and  north  of  this  mountain  there  were  many  flat- 
topped  hills ;  and  the  beds,  which  here  only  formed  caps,  appeared 
in  the  distance  to  form  the  hills  themselves,  the  cliff-like  faces  of 
which  showed  curious  barrel-shaped  outlines.  This  same  forma- 
tion, resting  on  the  granite,  is  to  be  seen  at  the  head  of  Wady 
Amran,  where  it  stretches  away  eastwards  towards  the  centre  of 
Arabia,  and  southwards  towards  the  somewhat  similar  beds  which 
were  seen  at  Madian. 

It  has  been  asserted,  on  very  good  grounds,  that  in  this  portion 
of  Arabia  there  are  still  remaining  evidences  of  several  once  active 
volcanoes.  Should  these  be  discovered,  they  will  in  all  proba- 
bility be  found  amongst  the  sandstones  on  the  eastern  side  of  the 
great  Arabian  watershed ;  for  had  they  existed  on  the  western 
side,  some  traces  of  them  must  have  been  seen  in  the  beds  of  the 
wadies  which  so  rapidly  descend  towards  the  Red  Sea. 


Akaba  to  Suez  (see  fig.  2). — The  northern  end  of  the  Gulf  of 
Akaba  having  its  shores  bounded  by  granite  hills,  the  consistency 
of  which  is  tolerably  equal  throughout,  the  disintegration  carried 
on  by  the  sea  has  not  tended  to  produce  such  an  irregular  out- 
line as  would  have  been  formed  had  there  been  more  variety  in 
their  character.  At  the  north-western  part  of  the  gulf,  however, 
between  Has  el  Musry  (Mahaserat)  and  Jezlret  Flr'6n  there  is  a 
slight  exception  to  this.  Here  some  soft  limestones  coming  down 
to  the  coast  between  granite  hills  have  been  cut  back  to  .form  a 
small  bay,  whilst  their  boundaries  stand  out  as  two  small  head- 
lands. The  rock  composing  these  points  is  greyish  in  colour 
and  granitic  nature,  but  varies  considerably  both  in  tint  and 
texture.  Opposite  to  Jezlret  Fir'dn,  or  Pharaoh's  Isle,  it  is 
somewhat  pinkish,  and  contains  well-formed  plates  of  mica,  of 
the  size  of  a  shilling,  and  even  larger. 

The  limestone,  which  dips  about  150  to  the  north-east,  is  in 
parts  quite  white ;  but  the  bulk  of  it  is  of  a  yellowish  tinge. 
Near  the  granite,  against  the  sides  of  which  it  evidently  rests, 
there  are  beds  of  a  strikingly  bright  pink  colour.  In  places  on 
this  exposure,  which  is  about  800  feet  in  thickness,  it  shows  itself 
like  a  compact  chalk;  whilst  in  other  parts  it  is  earthy,  but 
contains  interposed  bands  of  solid  stone  from  two  to  four  feet  in 

In  the  cliffs  near  Has  el  Mahaserat  there  are  beds  of  irregularly 
shaped  flints  and  fossil  remains,  of  which  only  a  fragmentary 
specimen  of  an  Echinus  was  collected.  The  valley  up  which 
these  limestones  run,  called  Wady  Mahaserat,  is  identified  by  Dr. 
Beke  as  being  Pi-ha-hiroth  or  "  the  entrance  to  the  caves,"  traces 
of  which  are  to  be  seen  a  few  miles  distant  from  the  shore. 

Leaving  the  Gulf  of  Akaba  at  its  north-west  extremity,  the 
Hadj  road,  on  which  the  pilgrims  to  and  from  Mecca  annually 
travel,  rapidly  rises,  being  bounded  on  its  north  and  south  sides 
by  long  narrow  reddish-coloured  heaps  of  debris,  made  up,  not 
only  of  granitic  rocks,  but  also  of  fragments  of  limestone.  A 
short  distance  beyond  this  the  termination  of  these  mounds  is 
found  in  some  reddish  granitic  hills,  which  for  the  most  part  are 
apparently  porphyritic. 

At  about  an  elevation  of  1000  feet  you  enter  the  upper  part  of 
Wady  Mahaserat,  bounded  on  its  western  side  by  the  continuation 
of  the  same  range  of  limestone  rocks  seen  between  Ras  el  Maha- 
serat and  Jezlret  Fir'dn,  dipping  in  apparently  the  same  direction 
as  before,  150  N.E. 

The  rock  itself  is  compact  in  appearance,  very  like  a  hard 
chalk,  and  contains  many  fossil  remains,  portions  of  Echini, 
Peciines  and  Ostrea  being  common. 


On  the  east  side  of  this  valley  are  much-decomposed  granite 
rocks,  of  ill-defined  reddish  and  greenish  colours,  which  merge 
from  one  to  the  other.  Those  of  a  reddish  tint  are  felsites,  and 
are,  as  usual,  harder  than  the  dark-green  porphyries  which  they 
occasionally  traverse. 

Rocks  from  between  Akaba  and  the  Tih  Plateau : — 

1.  Quartz  porphyry  with  a  green  felsitic  base,  through  which  oryatali  of 

porphyry  are  disseminated. 

2.  Red  porphyry. 

3.  Brown  felsitic  quartz  porphyry. 

4.  Reddish  brown  porphyry. 

5.  Light-green  porphyry. 

6.  Reddish  purple  porphyry. 

7.  Porphyry  like  No.  6,  but  with  white  crystals  of  felspar. 

8.  Basalt*  of  a  dark  green  colour  and  thoroughly  degraded. 

9.  Red  quartz  porphyry. 

10.  Greenish  grey  porphyry,  much  decomposed. 

11.  Altered  pyromeriae,  of  a  yellowish  colour,  and  with  a  mammillated 


A  short  distance  further  up  this  wady,  at  an  elevation  of 
about  1200  feet,  the  road  suddenly  turns  to  the  left  through  a 
narrow  gorge  of  chalk  cliffs,  and  then  ascends  by  a  steep,  zigzag, 
artificially  formed  pathway  to  the  plateau  of  the  Tih. 

Both  on  the  right  and  left  side  of  this  defile  good  exposures 
of  cliff-sections  are  to  be  seen,  in  which  there  are  several 
inaccessible  cave-like  openings.  The  rock,  as  before,  is  lithologi- 
cally  a  chalk,  containing  numerous  bands  of  flint. 

These  bands,  which  can  be  broken  out  in  large  slabs,  the  upper 
and  lower  surfaces  of  which  are  gently  rounded  into  smooth 
undulating  surfaces,  average  about  four  inches  in  thickness, 
and  occur  at  about  the  same  distance  apart  Although  they  can 
be  detached  in  large  fiat  masses,  through  the  number  of  vertical 
cracks  by  which  they  are  traversed,  they  split  into  fragments 
when  struck. 

On  the  surface  of  this  chalk  rock,  in  one  or  two  places,  a  slight 
efflorescence  of  common  salt  can  be  detected — an  indication, 
perhaps,  of  the  existence  of  larger  quantities  in  the  neigh- 

About  80  or  100  yards  up  the  gorge  the  chalk  rocks  suddenly 
terminate,  and  abut  against  the  almost  perpendicularly  down- 
turned  beds  of  a  yellowish  rusty-looking  limestone,  the  juncture 
of  the  two  apparently  marking  the  line  of  a  N.N.E.  fault. 

In  these  yellow  limestones  flints  were  seen,  and  fragmentary 
fossil  remains  were  common.  All  exposed  surfaces  of  this  rock 
are  much  eroded  and  weathered.     In  several  large  blocks  which 


had  fallen  from  some  bands  in  the  upper  portion  of  this  cliff-like 
exposure,  small  crystals  of  brown  oxide  of  iron  (pseudomorphs 
of  iron  pyrites  in  combinations  of  the  cube  and  octahedron) 
were  common. 

At  an  elevation  of  1800  feet,  or  600  feet  above  the  gorge,  a 
bluish  grey,  compact,  fine-grained  limestone  is  met  with,  in 
which  numerous  sections  of  Nerinaea  are  to  be  seen.  A  few 
small  cavities,  filled  with  minute  scalenohedral  forms  of  calcite, 
indicated  the  existence  of  other  fossil  forms. 

At  2000  feet  there  is  an  exposure,  about  40  feet  in  thickness, 
of  yellowish  earthy  bands,  containing  narrow  veins  of  gypsum 
from  one  to  two  inches  in  thickness,  forming  a  cap  to  the  NerinoBa- 

From  this  there  is  a  descent  of  about  100  feet  into  a  small 
open  plain,  in  which  there  are  numerous  exposures  of  a  pinkish 
red  (or  pale  maroon-coloured)  sandstone.  In  the  portion  examined 
this  was  made  up  of  a  fine-grained  quartzose  material,,  containing 
a  small  quantity  of  lime,  probably  derived  by  infiltration  from 
the  calcareous  beds  with  which  it  is  so  closely  associated.  One 
exception  to  the  colour  of  these  beds  was  seen  in  a  soft  and 
friable  yellow  band.  The  left  side  of  the  road,  which  is  here  in 
part  an  artificial  formation,  is  built  up  of  blocks  of  red  sandstone, 
which  were  obtained  in  large,  regularly  squared,  oblong  masses 
by  undermining  several  overhanging  beds  upon  the  right  In 
these  red  beds,  as  might  perhaps  have  been  anticipated,  no  trace 
of  organic  remains  could  be  seen. 

On  nearing  the  summit  of  the  tableland  of  the  Tih,  which  by 
barometrical  observation  is  about  2000  feet  above  the  sea-level, 
a  view  looking  down  into  a  north-and-south  gorge  showed  the 
relation  of  the  red  sandstones  to  the  limestones  before  described. 
Upon  the  east  flat  surfaces  of  limestone  were  seen  dipping  sharply 
towards  the  east ;  and  from  these  scarps,  and  especially  from  the 
one  forming  the  right-hand  wall  of  this  north-and-south  gorge, 
it  would  appear  as  if  they  once  covered  over  the  nearly  horizontal 
sandstones  on  the  left 

Descent  of  the  Tih. — The  striking  feature  of  this  desert  plateau, 
when  approached  from  the  Akaba  side,  is  its  wonderful  evenness 
of  surface,  which,  from  the  fineness  of  the  material  with  which  it 
is  covered,  gives  it  an  appearance  not  unlike  an  immense  expanse 
of  gravel  walk.  This  material  consists  in  great  part  of  white 
quartz  pebbles,  which  are  intermingled  with  fine-grained  porphy- 
ries and  other  felspathic  rocks  derived  from  some  low  peaks  several 
miles  away  to  the  north.  About  eighteen  miles  across  this  flat 
country,  at  Turf  er  Rukn,  the  track  enters  between  low  hills 
forming  the  southern  boundary  of  this  great  tableland,  the  sur- 


face-contour  of  which,  at  this  point,  is  represented  by  the  letter 
V,  the  arms  of  which  form  a  shallow  trough-like  drainage-area, 
one  arm  trending  N.W.  towards  the  Mediterranean,  and  the 
other  to  the  N.E.,  towards  the  southern  continuation  of  the  Dead 
Sea,  whilst  the  apex  of  the  two  is  to  the  south. 

Turf  er  Rukn,  which  is  continued  towards  the  north  as  a  low 
and  almost  imperceptible  rise  of  ground  forming  the  water-parting 
between  the  Y-shaped  arms  of  the  Tih,  further  to  the  south,  rises 
about  400  feet  above  the  plain  as  a  long  scarp  of  yellow  limestone. 
Near  the  foot  of  the  southern  end  of  this  scarp  there  is  a  small 
exposure  of  a  yellowish  sandstone,  and  also  indications  of  a  band 
of  siliceous  haematite  running  in  a  direction  about  one  point  to 
the  south  of  west.  This  ore  is  easily  distinguished  by  its  dark 
colour,  which  contrasts  strongly  with  the  light-coloured  sand  on 
which  it  lies. 

Beyond  this,  upon  the  right  or  north  side  of  the  road,  there  are 
some  low  ridges  consisting  of  bands  of  limestone  dipping  towards 
the  north.  Intercalated  with  these  bands  are  layers  of  flint  which, 
on  their  exterior,  very  much  resemble  some  dark-coloured  portions 
of  the  rock  in  which  they  are  imbedded. 

This  character  of  country,  of  limestone  scarps  on  the  left,  and 
low  ridges  on  the  right,  through  which  occasional  glimpses  of  the 
great  plateau  of  the  Tih  are  to  be  seen,  continues  for  nearly  a 
day's  journey. 

After  passing  Jebel  Duppa,  the  ranges  on  the  right,  growing 
higher,  show  a  more  definite  character  as  compared  with  those 
upon  the  left.  Whilst  the  latter  remain  horizontal,  the  former 
are  almost  turned  on  end,  dipping  at  an  angle  of  45  °  to  the  north. 
They  consist  of  limestones  which  are  whitish  at  their  base  and 
yellowish  near  their  summit  With  them  there  are  bands  of  flint, 
which,  being  tilted  up  with  the  rock  in  which  they  are  stratified, 
stand  up  along  the  ridges  of  the  hills,  forming  low  parallel  walls 
to  hollow  troughs.  Numerous  angular  and  apparently  freshly 
broken  fragments  of  these  flints  are  strewn  over  the  plain  below, 
apparently  broken  by  the  more  or  less  sudden  expansion  and  con- 
traction occasioned  by  the  great  variations  in  temperature,  this 
action  being  probably  aided  by  a  jointed  structure  in  the  flint  at 
the  time  of  its  removal  from  the  limestone.  That  there  are  such 
variations  in  temperature  may  be  inferred  from  the  fact  that  many 
nights  when  we  were  in  the  desert  the  thermometer  sank  below 
zero,  and  shrubs  and  other  objects  were  in  the  morning  covered 
with  a  thick  coating  of  hoar  frost,  this  low  temperature  being 
invariably  followed  shortly  after  sunrise  by  a  heat  that  readily 
scorched  and  peeled  the  skin  from  the  faca 

In  addition  to  this  it  may  be  mentioned  that  several  rounded 


and  apparently  whole  flints  were  seen,  which,  on  being  touched, 
fell  to  pieces,  showing  them  to  have  been  broken  by  some  force 
that  had  not  been  violent  in  its  action,  but  had  simply  divided 
them  and  not  scattered  the  fragments. 

Materials  being  in  this  way  continually  supplied  from  a  moun- 
tain, then  being  broken  by  the  sun  and  afterwards  buried  in  the 
sand,  may  perhaps  give  a  clue  to  the  origin  of  certain  breccias. 

At  the  western  end  of  this  range  there  is  a  large  and  well- 
defined  wady  stretching  away  to  the  north-west  into  a  low  undu- 
lating country  of  chalk-like  rocks.  At  the  entrance  to  this  there 
is  a  small,  solitary  hill  of  chalk  resembling  an  island,  and  show- 
ing the  steep  northern  dip  which  characterises  the  rocks  along 
the  southern  side  of  this  portion  of  the  Hadj  road. 

At  less  than  a  mile  past  this  a  cutting  has  been  made  through  a 
hill  composed  of  fine-grained  and  perfectly  white  chalk,  which 
gives  a  small  but  clear  section  of  this  rock,  showing  on  its  walls, 
and  also  in  the  ground  over  which  you  walk,  a  great  continuity 
of  bands  of  flint. 

Looking  at  the  upturned  edges  of  these  bands  upon  the  floor  of 
the  cutting,  in  places  they  are  seen  to  have  been  divided  and  then 
reunited,  forming  cavities  which  are  filled  with  a  material  in  ap- 
pearance like  the  surrounding  rock.  At  several  points  along  the 
walls  of  these  cuttings  numerous  irregular,  coral-like  concretions 
stand  out,  through  the  weathering  away  of  the  softer  material 
which  once  surrounded  them. 

On  the  left-hand  side  of  the  road,  it  appeared  as  if  the  upturned 
chalky  strata  just  referred  to  abutted  against  the  horizontal  yellow 
limestone  which  forms  a  more  or  less  continuous  ridge  from  Turf 
er  Rukn  to  this  point 

From  the  summit  of  any  of  the  hills  upon  the